CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. -- Horace Greeley High School Principal Robert Rhodes is leaving the decision on whether to hold next year's senior prom at Trump National Golf Club up to students.
Rhodes, in an email addressed to members of the class of 2016, weighed in on a brewing controversy over whether the club should be used in light of Donald Trump's controversial public comments made during his presidential campaign.
An online petition, which was started by Greeley student Julian Robles, blasts Trump over his remarks about illegal immigration from Mexico, in which he linked to drugs, rape and crime.
"This is not only untrue but disgustingly hurtful and racist," the petition states.
The petition adds that Trump has made other remarks that are racist, sexist and antisemitic.
"Our business does not make or break the standing of the Trump establishment and the welfare of his workers, yet taking our business to a more ethical establishment is ultimately better on principle," the petition states.
Addressing the debate, Rhodes wrote that the decision to host the prom at the golf club - it was used before - was made during the previous school year by members of the students' Leadership Council. Rhodes noted that the decision came following input from members of the class of 2015, whose grade also used the club.
There were no objections to the venue choice when the decision was made, Rhodes stated.
The venue's selection pre-dated Trump's remarks, which made news headlines over the summer.
Leadership Council representatives are inclined not to move the prom venue, according to Rhodes.
"After hearing many voices and arguments for and against changing the venue, your Student Leadership Council representatives have been caucusing electronically and believe it is in the best interest of the class to keep the venue as originally planned," he wrote. "Their decision was not made lightly; they know that other planning for senior events would suffer should the group need to spend several more months working on relocating the prom."
However, Rhodes suggested that students could offer direct feedback to Leadership Council members. He and Assistant Principal Laura Dubak, who is also the class of 2016 principal, will set up round-table discussions for September, which are intended to include council members, administrators and interested students.
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