Some parents at a Missouri graduation got up and walked out after a principal referenced police-involved shootings of black men in his speech.

“I wanted to be a teacher ‘cause I wanted to change the world,” Belton High School Principal Dr. Fred Skretta said. “I wanted to make it a better place. I’m gonna be honest with you, in a lot of ways I fear that we are not there yet. If we were there, we wouldn’t have conflicts between police killing young black men.”

Parents said they were offended by Skretta’s remarks on their children’s graduation day.

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“You don’t use the platform of a child’s graduation to push a political agenda or push your personal opinions,” one parent said.

Skretta took to Twitter to apologize, saying that he “meant no disrespect” with his remarks.

Deputy Superintendent Dr. Steve Morgan said Skretta’s comments were not reflective of the district and that this is now a personnel matter.

“Comments were made at graduation and they certainly are not reflective of the district, so we sent out an apology in a statement today that went to all patrons reflecting that,” he said earlier this week.

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