Police Chief Opposes School's Black History Program

| by Michael Allen
Black Lives Matter SignBlack Lives Matter Sign

Roulette, Texas, Police Chief Mike Broadnax says a Black History Month presentation at the Coyle Middle School on Feb. 26 was a “direct attack on police.”

Five black students stood up during a school assembly and held signs that read: “Black Lives Matter,” “I Can’t Breathe,” "Hands Up, Don't Shoot," "I'm Just Young Black & MLKing" and “The Whole System Is Guilty,” but didn't mention the police.

“Allowing this only promotes the discontent and hatred for police to continue," Broadnax told KTVT. "It’s a bad day.”

The Garland Independent School District is about 20 percent black, per the Texas Education Agency, notes The Dallas Morning News.

In response to the controversy, Principal Michael Bland told the staff an in email:

"While our campus celebrated the accomplishments of African Americans past, present and future, an unfortunate event occurred during the first performance. 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. 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. In closing, the Black History program was a success! The cultural exchange was embraced by the staff, students and community members that attended. I hope this apology finds everyone in the best of spirits. Have a great weekend!"

Sources: KTVT, The Dallas Morning News / Photo credit: Tony Webster/Flickr

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