A Mississippi school board is apologizing after the superintendent was quoted saying the district might consider an optional separate school to boost academic achievement among low-income students.

The Oxford Eagle reports (http://bit.ly/2dhNdWx ) reports the Oxford school board issued a statement Friday saying the district has no plan to create a separate school for any group, including students receiving free or reduced lunch.

In a state not many decades removed from segregation, the board also said: "We will not tolerate segregation on the basis of socioeconomic status or race."

About 200 people, many of them black, protested after the Oxford High School student newspaper, The Charger, published an article Thursday in which Superintendent Brian Harvey said the district had looked at an opt-in Virginia school focusing on achievement for low-income students.