Tennessee high school principal apologies for saying black students are “less smart”

Eric Pfeiffer

A high school principal in Tennessee issued a letter of apology to students and parents after publicly saying his school's black students were "less smart" after scoring lower than other students on recent academic tests.

"The hope was we would share with the students, this is where we are as a school," Principal Ted Horrell said. Local affiliate WREG reported that Horrell took the unusual step of sharing the school's test scores in a live forum with the students. There were reports that black students were taunted after the assembly.

"[My daughter] felt he presented this information to basically reflect the African-American students were all the reason the scores were down," Germantown High parent Deborah Cannon told WREG.

In his apology letter, Horrell wrote, "I unintentionally offended a number of students on this campus. I apologize to all the students and parents who were offended."

However, Horrell said the testing is part of a larger effort to improve the school's overall test scores, but denied specifically drawing racial boundaries. "I did say we have some groups of students that are performing better on standardized tests than others. I certainly didn't say that white students are smarter than black students."

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