In response, a group of Scarborough High School students staged a protest on Tuesday outside the town municipal building before school started. They held signs with messages like “Racism Is Still Taking Lives” and “Why Is Demanding Equality Controversial.”
Krystal Ash-Cuthbert, president of the Scarborough Education Association, told CNN that the union had also heard from teachers and staff, who were concerned about Monday’s memo.
“As I now reflect on a communication that was shared by our curriculum director to staff yesterday, I understand that the reference to the phrase “Black Lives Matter” was offensive to many people who read the memo,” Prince wrote. “Please know that inclusion of that phrase was not at all intended to be a statement to make any member of the community feel less valued in any way and we are deeply apologetic for that.”
Prince told CNN that the students who protested were very respectful. He applauded them for their passion and for taking a stand.
“That’s what we really want our students to do,” he said, “and what we want to teach them that when they feel passionate about something, they can get motivated and bring about change.”
The policy states that students should be exposed to different or opposing sides of an issue so they can form there own opinions.
“Educators shall not use the classroom as a forum to advance their personal views or proselytize,” according to the policy, “but are not prohibited from expressing their own views for legitimate pedagogical purposes.”
CORRECTION: This story has been updated to correct the spelling of Mia Goulder’s last name.