Photo by Lincoln Beddoe via Shutterstock

In Chattanooga, Tennessee, the principal of East Ridge Middle School apologized after announcing the school’s Black History Month theme on Sunday. 

Principal Christy Caldwell Drake sent out a weekly newsletter for families, stating the theme was the phrase “All Lives Matter.”

Drake apologized that following Monday, explaining that her inspiration for the theme came from a school mural.

“I want to apologize for not more fully considering the context of that theme, as my inspiration for it was taken from a mural within our school that states ‘Where Every Child Matters,’” Drake said in the apology.

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The phrase “all lives matter” is considered controversial due to its use to reduce the Black Lives Matter movement’s impact.

“As a black woman in leadership, I embrace civil rights, Black History Month and the sacrifices that have been made by those who came before me,” Drake said.

“My father, Dr. Virgil J. Caldwell, was a local pastor and civil rights leader. I had the opportunity to experience firsthand the fight for equality.”

Jessica Arnold is a parent of a student at East Ridge Middle School and told CNN that “Whoever thought that was a good idea really just has refused to think critically about this or [is] willfully ignorant about it or just doesn’t want to educate themselves about it, and that disturbs me from the educators of my children.”

There are still a few people who do not think the apology is enough. Courtney Wilson commented in response to the principal’s apology on the middle school’s Facebook page.

“All Lives Matter is just ignorant due to its political message… It didn’t have to be Black Lives Matter either,” Wilson said. “‘What is your dream..’ ‘History in the Making’ Literally anything else… Way to downplay African American students and their role models.”

Hamilton County School’s Spokesman, Cody Patterson, told CNN that Drake removed the theme and sent out an apology to the middle school’s community; the district will take no other action.

Written ByLauren Akabori

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