The principal of a San Diego elementary school sent out an email warning parents of a Black man who was inside of a nearby Starbucks. Now she’s sent an email apology for being racist.
The San Diego Tribune reports that principal Donna Tripi warned La Jolla Elementary School parents about “an African American male about 30 years old, about 6’1-6’2, dressed in all black and a hooded sweatshirt,” at Starbucks.
The man had allegedly stared at and followed a parent’s daughter at a local Starbucks. The email went on to give parents security tips “to keep your children safe,” including calling the police “if you see something that doesn’t feel right.”
Tripi has sent out an apology email, saying that she unintentionally perpetuated stereotypes about black men.
“My email was a mistake. While it is critical to keep our school family safe, the way I communicated didn’t provide enough specifics to identify the individual, but could easily lead to unnecessary and harmful reactions against other members of our community,” Tripi wrote. “African American males continue to face discrimination in our society every day. The thought that I unintentionally contributed to that climate with a vague email is something for which I owe our community an apology.”
Later in the email, Tripi defended the parent’s fears about the Black man, saying she’s “confident the concern they described was not imagined.” Adding that the parent was reasonable in believing that the man was following her daughter.
The Tribune reports, out of 535 students enrolled at La Jolla Elementary last fall, five were Black, state data shows. The school didn’t employ any Black teachers last school year, according to state data. Out of 31 teachers, 28 were white.