The principal of Friendship Elementary School in Glen Rock, Pa. is taking heat for dressing in Blackface during a staff training event.
Lisa Boyer reportedly had her staff play a game based on the television show “Family Feud.” So she dressed up as host Steve Harvey; in a man’s suit, a costume cap to cover her hair, and makeup to darken her skin color, according to reports.
A photo taken by a teacher five months ago recently leaked on Twitter and now the school has been accused of trying to cover up and downplay the incident.
“I understand the teachers that attended were also offended and also reported it to administration, and that’s how the disciplinary action started,” York chapter NAACP president Sandra Thompson said.
“The history of blackface has always been entertainment for white people,” she said. “It has always been used to entertain white people. That form of entertainment has always meant to be hurtful to black people.”
“What would make you think that we would be entertained?” she added. “What have you gauged in the atmosphere of the school district that would make you think we would find blackface entertaining?”
After the photo was leaked, Thompson says Southern York County School District asked the NAACP and to become a part of its diversity committee.
Administrators would not reveal how Boyer was disciplined but claim she apologized to her staff for being insensitive.
A statement from the school district read, “The School District’s central office administration was advised of the principal appearance later that same day, and the incident was immediately investigated. After completing the investigation, the principal was disciplined and apologized to school staff who were present for the incident. The central office administration also made clear to the principal that such conduct violated both the letter and the spirit of the School District’s nondiscrimination policies. This matter was not ‘swept under the rug,’ it was promptly addressed — and it was made clear that this incident was inappropriate within the school setting. The School District has, and will continue to strive, to offer both its students and employees a school environment that is free from racially insensitive conduct.”
Boyer’s email to the York Daily Record read, “My intention was never to offend anyone; however, I understand now how my actions could be viewed as insensitive and inappropriate. I deeply regret my decision and have learned from it. Even though I did not have ill intent, my poor choice was addressed by both the administrative team and school board. On top of those repercussions, I publicly apologized to staff and met with some parents as well.”