The Union County school district acknowledges a letter asking elementary school students to dress in African American attire to celebrate Black History Month was poorly worded, but says it had good intentions.
The letter was sent home with Western Union Elementary School students in advance of the schools Feb. 28 celebration. If students did not have African American attire, they were encouraged to wear animal-print clothing or shirts with zebras or giraffes on them.
The school acknowledged sending the letter, and said it has sent a similar version home for seven or eight years. Spokeswoman Luan Ingram said no parents have complained in the past, and none complained this year either.
The letter was posted on a photo-sharing website this week, and began drawing attention on message boards and blogs.
While it was well-intended, it was poorly worded, Ingram said in a statement. We are reminding all of our principals to be very sensitive in word choices when communicating with parents concerning different ethnic groups and cultures that make up our world.
The school system said the African American attire in the letter refers to traditional African clothing like the students studied during the month, without providing specifics.