Chattanooga, Tennessee- February 3, 2021
Letters of apology were sent to families by the Principal of a Middle school in Chattanooga after the announcement of the theme – All Lives Matter. It was felt that the theme did not consider the full context and could seem insensitive
In a weekly newsletter sent to the families on Sunday, The Principal of East Ridge Middle School realized that the theme of the school for Black History month may not have been the best selection. This led to the Principal of the school Christy Caldwell Drake, issuing an apology for the same. In a bid to clear her stand she explained that she had drawn inspiration from a mural in the school which said: “Where Every Child Matters.” She mentioned this in the letters that were issued subsequently to the families of the school children.
This was seen as a controversy creator, that would undermine the importance of the “Black Lives Matter” issue. The objective of Black Lives matter was to highlight racism and police violence on the Black community.
Clarifying her stance she further added that she was a black woman in a leadership position, and she embraced civil rights and was aware of the sacrifices made by her predecessors. She expressed optimism while saying that most of the students who looked like her should be aware of their unlimited potential. Commenting on her family background she mentioned how her parents were educators. Her father was a civil rights leader and local pastor. She said she had a first-hand experience of what a fight for equality meant.
One of the parents mentioned that they had discussed their concerns regarding the theme with the Principal and its subsequent fallout and implications. The parent expressed how she was deeply anguished to note that those who thought of the theme did not think about it in its entirety and its consequences and she was concerned that such people were responsible for her child’s education. She felt that students would be divided and marginalized in the future if such themes were planned and executed