Principal disciplined for wearing blackface at staff event

York

A principal in the Southern York County School District is taking heat for dressing in blackface during a staff training event.

Lisa Boyer, the principal of Friendship Elementary School, had her staff play a game based on the television show “Family Feud.” Boyer dressed up as host Steve Harvey.

A photo taken by a teacher five months ago and recently leaked on Twitter shows Boyer in a man’s suit, a costume cap to cover her hair, and makeup to darken her skin color.

“I understand the teachers that attended were also offended and also reported it to administration, and that’s how the disciplinary action started,” York chapter NAACP president Sandra Thompson said.

Thompson said the incident reflects a lack of understanding.

“The history of blackface has always been entertainment for white people,” she said. “It has always been used to entertain white people. That form of entertainment has always meant to be hurtful to black people.”

After the photo was leaked, Thompson says the district asked the NAACP and other organizations to become a part of its diversity committee. Thompson believes further sensitivity training would broaden perspectives.

“What would make you think that we would be entertained?” she said. “WWhat have you gauged in the atmosphere of the school district that would make you think we would find blackface entertaining?”

Administrators would not say how Boyer was disciplined. They said she apologized to her staff for being insensitive, and she is taking steps to increase diversity awareness.

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