After backlash from the surrounding community, a Sacramento, California school superintendent is blaming “poor judgement” for allowing a teacher to wear blackface during a school presentation.
Speaking to Yahoo Lifestyle, Victory Christian School superintendent John Huffman said the teacher donned the makeup and African-style garb to teach a lesson about African history.
“Last Thursday our elementary chapel speaker dressed up as a Central African native woman in order to tell the life story of missionary David Livingston and his work in Africa in the late 1800s,” Huffman said. “In an effort to bring authenticity to her role, she wore a typical native dress and headdress. She also used makeup to darken her skin tone on her arms, shoulders and face.”
Huffman went on to say that he was “wrong to allow the use of makeup no matter how innocent the intentions” and acknowledged the offense it caused to “students and parents.”
According to Sacramento’s Fox 40, the lesson centered around David Livingston, a Christian missionary who traveled to Africa in the mid-19th century. An image shared by Fox 40 shows the teacher wearing makeup that made her skin look darker.
A local California school under fire for allowing the use of Blackface during a presentation. We’re getting reaction from the school superintendent as outrage from students and parents grows. Details at 10 p.m. on @FOX40 pic.twitter.com/M97HSpbcLR
— Bridgette Bjorlo (@bridgettebjorlo) January 27, 2019
Attempts by Yahoo Lifestyle to reach the teacher in question were unsuccessful, but a former student told the outlet that the teacher was “oblivious” to her actions and apologized the next day after being confronted by a black student.
In addition to his apology, Huffman said he addressed the matter during a school assembly.
“I wanted to assure them that I am planning future open discussions about this in our chapels and Bible classes in order to help students and staff understand each other’s sensitivities,” he told Yahoo Lifestyle. “There will be other opportunities scheduled for staff as well as teachers as we all learn from this together.”
Featured image via screen grab/Fox 40