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Massachusetts School Shuts Down After Teacher Has Toddlers Wear Blackface Masks For Black History Month

Massachusetts School Shuts Down After Teacher Has Toddlers Wear Blackface Masks For Black History Month
NBC10 Boston

A daycare temporarily closed down, fired a teacher and apologized to parents after a Black History Month lesson went horribly wrong.

ICKids, a Montessori school in Newton, Massachusetts saw a lot of parent and community outrage after it was discovered a teacher had toddlers make masks of blackface.

After a parent brought the situation to light, many more complained to the school, who shut down over fears of protests.

The incident took place last week.

The pre-school teacher took the children through a project where they made blackface masks.

When one mother, Nadirah Pierce, found out, she pulled her children from the school.

She told local news NBC10 Boston:

“This is unacceptable and don't really understand the concept of this project.”

Blackface is a highly offensive practice where people of non-African descent use makeup to portray a Black person. The masks the children made were part of a lesson for Black History Month.

When Pierce initially picked up her kids, she saw they were covered in black paint. She didn’t think much of it until the school posted photos of the activity online.

Then everyone knew what the black paint was for.

The school posted an apology on their Facebook profile saying:

“To all who are offended, we sincerely apologize for what happened with one of our classroom activities: black face. Our intention was to celebrate Black History Month.”
“Unfortunately we didn’t do enough research on black history and carried out a wrong activity. We are sorry about it and we mean it!”

How could this have happened in the first place?

Many commenters were quick to point out what was posted on Facebook wasn’t an apology or accountability for what went wrong. After this, the school deleted their Facebook profile.

Soon after, the school shut down with a notice on their door explaining that the “Facebook apology was not the best statement...” They claimed they had to shut down over security concerns that may come from protesting parents.

However, the protests never happened.

Initially, the teacher who planned the activity was just reprimanded, but after continued outrage from parents, the door notice updated this situation to say they had been fired.

The school also said that if they reopen, all staff will be made to go through diversity training,

The whole situation was unsurprising to many.

While blackface seems like an archaic practice that should have gone extinct a long time ago, it continues to crop up.

Just a few months ago, a Virginia councilman shared a Halloween costume in blackface.

While the councilman removed the photos of the costume, he attempted to defend himself and showed little remorse.