School shuts down after teacher tells toddlers to wear blackface masks for Black History Month

A Massachusetts Montessori school has apologized and fired a teacher who made blackface masks for students to wear as part of a Black History Month lesson, NBC Boston reports.

The incident took place in a classroom with toddlers last Tuesday and school officials were notified after a mother heard about it from her child. “This is unacceptable and don’t really understand the concept of this project,” parent Nadirah Pierce told NBC Boston.

The school, ICKids, released a statement saying that the teacher “planned and carried out an activity that involved black masks ‘blackface.’ [sic] One of the parents brought it to our attention and was offended; The teacher apologized to the parent,” adding that teacher had been “released from her employment.”

The statement also addressed the earlier apology on Facebook, saying that it “was not the best statement” and that they “were trying to send a message to say that research for toddler curriculum was not executed or completed in the manner that It [sic] should have been, so we apologize to every and anyone this may have offended.”

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According to NBC Boston, the school’s Facebook profile appears to have been deleted.

“The apology received was empty and then to go onto Facebook and see that apology was disheartening. I hope this is a lesson to possibly really prepare to do projects on cultures before doing them to avoid a hurtful gesture to a group of people,” Pierce said. “Even if they weren’t trying to offend, they have.”

Local news outlet WCVB reported that the school has closed due to potential protests.

Watch WCVB’s report on the story below:

Montessori school in Massachusetts shuts down in wake of blackface class activity

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