KTVU reports that officials at a Benicia School are apologizing for a Black History Month assembly where only African-American students were invited to attend.
“It looks like segregation. Certainly does. It was,” Benicia Unified School District Superintendent Janice Adams told the news station. “I understand how it looks and I’m very sorry for that, because that’s not the impression that we want to give about our school.”
According to Adams, the teacher who planned the assembly did not get clearance from the administrators.
“She really is a great person and she made a judgment call that wasn’t good,” Adams explained. “I do believe her intentions were good. She made a bad decision.”
The teacher, who is the only African-American teacher at the school, said she held the assembly to discuss concerns about the increasing use of the “N” word.
At the assembly, she showed students videos and provided them with information about the Civil Rights Movement in this country. She said she felt that the African-American students would be more comfortable around other students of the same race.
“This is not an issue that impacts just African American students. It impacts our entire school population and that’s the important thing to me,” Adams explained. “We want to make sure that every student who comes to school feels valued respected and treated with respect.”
School officials say they didn’t learn about the issue until parents complained.
“As a parent I can understand why there’s concern, because kids came home and said, ‘I was shown a movie, I took a survey, and oh and by the way, everybody in the room was also African American like me,'” parent and school board trustee Andre Stewart told KTVU.