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School District Apologizes After Only Black Students Invited On Trip

| by Kathryn Schroeder

Olathe School District officials have issued an apology after only black students were invited on a school trip.

Olathe South High School Assistant Principal Candy Birch organized an event to take place on April 5 to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, the American Jazz Museum, lunch at Arthur Bryant’s, and then on to the Nelson-Atkins Art Gallery to see the “History and Hope: Celebrating the Civil Rights Movement” exhibit.

The outing was only “open to our African-American sophomores and juniors," Birch wrote in the letter to Olathe South High School students, reports WCSC.

The letter also stated her hope that this would be "the first of several outings and activities in the future years."

An upset student sent a letter to KCTV saying it “was an outrage that the invitation was only extended to black students.”

Parents even commented that all students should have been given the opportunity to attend.

The Olathe County School District agreed.

"The Olathe South administration would like to apologize for the misunderstanding," according to a district statement. "As a district we are always looking for ways for our students to get connected and be involved, and unfortunately the letter suggested that this event was only open to African-American students. We would like to make clear that all students are welcome to attend this event."

Doug Bonney, legal advisor for the area ACLU, views the incident as discriminatory based on race, but he does not think any ill will was meant.

"I think the school's heart is in the right place. They're trying to provide an enrichment experience for these students," Bonney said.

The district has yet to make an in-school announcement that the trip is open to all students.

Sources: WCSC, KCTV

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