Parents and students at a North Carolina high school are upset after a student doing the morning school announcements donned a black mask and dreadlocks in order to imitate the student who used to do the announcements.
The announcements for Hickory Ridge High School were broadcast throughout the school on Friday, though the school issued an apology that same day and took the announcements offline.
“I was really very surprised,” Hickory Ridge High School parent Renee Williams said. “I thought that everything had to be approved by administration and a teacher and they would try to be sensitive to the climate that is going on right now.”
Vince Powell, the school board member who represents Hickory Ridge High, said that he had received calls from parents about the incident but maintained that he was not too concerned, saying, “There was no malice or ill-intent. Just an ill-time attempt at humor.”
But parents find very little to laugh about when it comes to blackface.
“I think that students need to be educated,” one mother told WBTV. “About what truly is humor and humor should not be at the expense of any race.”
“When they use those type of faces it always meant something derogatory toward African-Americans,” Williams said.
The school district has said that no one was punished over the incident but that they are using it as a teaching moment instead.