Preschool apologizes after toddlers wear ‘blackface’ masks

IC Kids claimed that a teacher had intended to celebrate Black History Month; she has since been fired.

IC Kids, a Montessori school in Massachusetts, is under fire after a teacher at the school instructed children to make and wear Blackface masks as part of a Black History Month project. 

According to a report from NBC10 Boston, the incident occurred last Tuesday when the teacher had the children paint “blackface” masks on paper plates that they held over their faces. 

“This is unacceptable,” Nadirah Pierce, a Black mother of two children at IC Kids, told NBC10 Boston. She has pulled her children out of school. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)

Nadirah Pierce, who is a Black mother of two children at the school, has pulled them out of school. 

“This is unacceptable and [I] don’t really understand the concept of this project,” Pierce told NBC10 Boston. The mother told the news outlet that the school apologized to her in person and posted an apology on Facebook. However, the school’s Facebook page has since been deactivated, per the report. 

“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.”

In a letter posted on the door of IC Kids, the school wrote: “To celebrate ‘black history month,’ a teacher in toddler classroom at ICKids planned and carried out an activity that involved black masks ‘blackface.’ One of the parents brought it to our attention and was offended. The teacher apologized to the parent.” 

“Director was aware of said incident which occurred on Feb 8 and this was immediately addressed. The activity was removed from the classroom and the teacher reprimanded for such actions.” 

The school noted that “while wording of Facebook apology was not the best statement, we were trying to send a message to say that research for toddler curriculum was not executed or completed in the manner that it should have been, so we apologize to every and anyone this may have offended. The staff member who planned and executed the activity has since been released from her employment at IC Kids.” 

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