Back in my day, school activities for Black History Month looked like book reports and classroom posters. Now, the kids have moved on to creating playfully racist art in celebration of the Black experience. An allegory for American history.
IC Kids, a Montessori school in Newton, Massachusetts has officially shut down operation following outrage over a preschool Black History Month activity. The kids were tasked with painting paper plates with black faces to wear in class. Of course, their teacher was fired shortly after because no one can really blame a classroom full of toddlers.
According to the Associated Press, ICKids posted a statement outside of the facility’s front door Sunday announcing a temporary closing due to rumors of protests.
The school also posted a Facebook statement that drew ire for an empty apology that read: the “curriculum was not executed or completed in the manner that it should have been, so we apologize to every and anyone this might have offended.”
Here’s more from NBC10 Boston:
IC Kids apologized about the incident in a Facebook post, which drew criticism, then posted a statement on a window at the facility. The statement said the school’s day care had closed over “safety concerns,” explaining that “hearing of protests happening at the center will put the children and staff at risk.”
“To celebrate ‘black history month’, a teacher in toddler classroom [sic] at ICKids 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,” the statement read.
The statement also addressed the earlier apology on Facebook and said the teacher responsible had been “released from her employment.”
“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 [sic] should have been, so we apologize to every and anyone this may have offended,” the statement said.
The school’s Facebook account appears to have since been deactivated.
“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,” said Nadirah Pierce, according to NBC. “Even if they weren’t trying to offend, they have.” Pierce pulled her children out of the school over the incident.