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Florida school officials apologize for assembly singling out Black students about low test scores

BUNNELL, Fla. (AP) — Florida school district officials apologized Thursday for an elementary school assembly in which Black students were singled out for a presentation on low test scores.

Officials at Flagler County's school district in northeastern Florida said at a news conference that the assembly at Bunnell Elementary School was a “horrible, horrific mistake” that shouldn't have happened, and that the school's principal has been put on paid administrative leave pending an investigation.

“The Flagler School Board does not support segregation,” said Cheryl Massaro, the school board's chair.

Bunnell Elementary staff members last Friday pulled Black fourth- and fifth-graders out of their regularly scheduled activities to attend a PowerPoint presentation about low standardized test scores. The presentation led by two Black teachers noted that Black students had underperformed on standardized tests for the past three years. They also discussed how students with higher grades had a better chance of going to college, while those with lower grades had a higher chance of going to jail, getting shot or getting killed, parents told The Daytona Beach News-Journal.

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Although there was no intended malice involved, the assembly was carried out in a way that doesn't reflect the district's values, Lashakia Moore, the interim superintendent, said in a video posted to the district's website.

Moore said a community forum will be held next week to address what happened.