School officials at a Benicia, Calif., middle school are apologizing after a teacher held a "black students only" Black History Month assembly, KTVU reports.
"It looks like segregation. Certainly does. It was," Benicia Unified School District Superintendent Janice Adams said, according to 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."
The Benicia Middle School teacher reportedly organized the assembly without clearance from the school.
"She really is a great person and she made a judgment call that wasn't good," Adams added. "I do believe her intentions were good. She made a bad decision."
The teacher responsible for the special assembly is reportedly the only black teacher at the middle school. The teacher explained to the news station that she organized the assembly to talk about the use of racial slurs on campus, including the use of the n-word.
She also showed students clips about the civil rights movement and handed out a survey about racial attitudes, KTVU reports. The teacher believed that the students would be more comfortable having the discussion around other black students.
Adams, however, disagrees with that decision. "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 said. "We want to make sure that every student who comes to school feels valued, respected and treated with respect."
The school found out about the assembly after concerned 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,' " said parent and school board trustee Andre Stewart.
"That's not right, 'cause you're going back to the '60s with segregation," said parent Ramonte Robinson. "I mean, we're all equal here."
Read more at KTVU.