A Texas middle school principal has apologized after the local police chief called the school’s Black History Month presentation on Friday a “direct attack on police,” according to KTVT-TV.
KTVT reports that during one portion of the event, students held up signs with messages such as “Black Lives Matter,” “I Can’t Breathe” and “Hands Up Don’t Shoot.”
Mike Broadnax, Rowlett’s police chief, said that the message was anti-police.
“Allowing this only promotes the discontent and hatred for police to continue,” Broadnax told KTVT. “It’s a bad day.”
In an email to staff, the principal of Coyle Middle School, Michael Bland, wrote that the inclusion of a “highly politicized message” during the presentation was an “unfortunate event.”
“While our campus celebrated the accomplishments of African-Americans past, present and future, an unfortunate event occurred during the first performance,” Bland wrote. “There was a sign used in one of the skits that displayed a highly politicized message. Although the intent of the performers was not to offend anyone’s political views, the use of a politicized message on a middle school campus was not the best choice.”
“The message displayed on the sign had political, social and cultural relevance as it relates to social studies curriculum and academic discourse but was not appropriate and could be misconstrued as advocating for and encouraging students to take a political stance,” he added. “It could also be taken offensively by law enforcement who risk life and limb daily for our personal wellbeing.”
“If any of the political messages on the signs offended anyone, I apologize on behalf of the administration,” Bland continued. “In closing, the Black History program was a success! The cultural exchange was embraced by the staff, students and community members that attended.”