SCARBOROUGH, Maine (AP) — Dozens of students of a Maine high school demonstrated outside a municipal building on Tuesday morning to protest a directive that told staff not to promote the slogan “Black Lives Matter.”

Scarborough School Department Director of Curriculum and Assessment Monique Culbertson sent a letter to staff Monday that said staff should not display words or slogans that communicate a personal viewpoint while on school grounds, the Portland Press Herald reported. The letter’s examples includes “Black Lives Matter,” “White Lives Matter” and some political campaign slogans.

Students who demonstrated Tuesday said “Black Lives Matter” should not be a controversial statement.

“We’re out here today because Black Lives Matter is not a controversial statement and black students and students of color are deeply hurt and upset by this statement their school has issued saying the fact their lives matter is controversial,” senior Gracie Murnane told the Press Herald.

Superintendent of Schools Sanford Prince IV posted a letter to the school department’s website Tuesday that said “the inclusion of that phrase was not at all intended to be a statement to make any member of the community feel less valued in any way and we are deeply apologetic for that.”

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