Mass. preschool shuttered after toddlers told to make ‘offensive’ blackface masks for Black History Month

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(Video Credit: WCVB Channel 5 Boston)

A Massachusetts Montessori daycare and preschool has shut its doors in fear of protests following the firing of a teacher who unbelievably had toddlers make and then wear offensive blackface masks to celebrate Black History Month.

Parents yanked their children out of the school after finding out on Feb. 8 about the project.

“This is unacceptable and I don’t really understand the concept of this project,” one mother named Nadirah Pierce told NBC Boston.

The school posted an apology to its Facebook page that did not go over well.

“To all who are offended, we sincerely apologize for what happened with one of our classroom activities: black face,” the post reportedly read. “Our intention was to celebrate Black History Month. Unfortunately we didn’t do enough research on black history and carried out a wrong activity. We are sorry and we mean it!”

“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 might have offended,” the preschool reiterated.

“Said staff member did not execute curriculum in the manner trained to do so resulting in this negative impact and light of the daycare center,” the statement concluded.

“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 remarked.

“THIS is not an apology,” one person wrote on Facebook before the school nuked its account according to The New York Daily News. “‘To all who are offended’ is not having accountability for the school’s actions. ‘We are sorry about it and we mean it!’ — You were better off [not] addressing it at all.”

Following the negative reaction to the apology, the school deactivated its Facebook page and then posted a statement on the door of the school.

“To celebrate ‘black history month’, a teacher in toddler classroom at IC Kids 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,” the statement read.

It went on to state that the teacher involved has been “released from her employment.”

The school closed down, at least temporarily, over “safety concerns,” the statement said. “Hearing of protests happening at the center will put the children and staff at risk.”

However, according to NBC Boston, no protesters have been spotted at the school.

“In the event that we reopen our doors, all staff will be trained in Diversity and creating curriculum for the birth to 5-year-old age group,” the school announced while asserting it already has a diverse staff, including “African American, Spanish [and] Asian” employees.

“We would also aim high for a more diverse staff with strong child care background knowledge and experience,” administrators said according to the New York Post.

Bridget Ray-Canada, who is a founding member of the Newton Coalition of Black Residents, claimed the teacher’s lesson “degraded” the students.

“She hurt the black community,” Ray-Canada told CBS Boston in an interview. “For people to claim ignorance, I think it’s unacceptable in 2022.”


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