CARMICHAEL — A mother of a student who attends Victory Christian School reached out to FOX40 expressing concern over an incident that took place last Thursday and she’s not alone.
Even the school acknowledged that a number of students and parents were offended by the use of blackface during a school presentation.
Now, the superintendent is apologizing for what he’s calling “poor judgment.”
Superintendent John Huffman says an elementary chapel speaker dressed up as a Central African native woman to portray missionary David Livingston and his work in late 19th century Africa.
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
He says the speaker intended to resemble the character in appearance.
He said in a statement that the decision was made “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.”
But the choice to use blackface in a school environment is sparking outrage among some students and parents. So much so that the superintendent sent out an email to families the very next day apologizing for it.
He wrote, in part:
“This presentation was in no way meant to be hurtful or disrespectful… I ask forgiveness from those who have been hurt by this.”
Huffman elaborated further, telling FOX40 in a statement:
“I was wrong to allow the use of makeup no matter how innocent the intentions as it has offended some of my students and parents. I should have anticipated that this could be offensive, and I apologized to my students and parents asking to be forgiven for hurting them.”
The superintendent also said that in addition to apologizing to families, he’s also planning open discussions to better understand and be sensitive to one another.