The small town of Waxhaw in North Carolina finds itself on the map after the release of a racially insensitive letter (pictured) sent home to a local elementary school’s student body. Western Union Elementary School officials made an erroneous choice of sending home a letter that urged students to wear “African American attire” for a Black History Month celebration – complete with the quotes. The letter continues with the head-scratching suggestion that if children did not have such clothing, they could come dressed in animal print clothing of creatures native to Africa.
After the letter made its rounds on the Web via blogs and other social sites, Union County officials saw fit to address the offensive note. Via a statement, the school district apologized for the letter, but not before mentioning that this same letter has been used for the past eight years without any complaints from parents:
“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.”
Intention aside, school officials seemed clueless and defiant after explaining to the Charlotte Observer that their suggestion of African-American attire simply referred the traditional African clothing that students learned about during Black History Month in February.