School District in Danville addresses student depicted in racially insensitive photograph
DANVILLE, Iowa (KWQC) - A photo going around Facebook depicts an incident involving racial insensitivity that took place last week at a school in Danville, Iowa.
During a “black out night” game between Danville and New London, a student was shown wearing black face and a nun costume.
A picture of the teen shows him and a group of friends in the bleachers of the game, and community members are asking how the student was let in.
According to superintendent Dr. Thomas Ward, they got in through the ticket booth.
“That’s a procedure that will be - and has been- addressed already with administration on duty at the time,” Ward said.
This is not the first time a race sensitivity incident has occurred at a school, but the Danville Community School District has taken full responsibility for the incident and faculty said they want to help students understand why the situation was not OK.
“We have to take a look at all our policies and procedures, [and] do a better job at informing and educating our staff and students,” Ward said. “And just to make sure that we are a little bit more empathetic and understanding, that we won’t tolerate discrimination or racism.”
Ward, who was not at the game, said that faculty have come up with a plan in the meantime to address the situation, which includes requiring an ethics course for the student to complete.
“The individual—the student involved—is going to have to take the program,” said Dr. Ward, “and [will] come back and teach our kids. I call it sensitivity training.”
The student has also written a letter of apology to the community and the public. It states:
“I am sorry for the uneducated decision I made to paint my face black for the blackout night. I had zero intent of being racist. It didn’t even cross my mind. As for the nun costume, it is a trend on Social Media. I wasn’t trying to make fun of any religion.
“I would like to apologize to the African American community, my friends and family, my church and my community. This week has taught me many lessons. I researched blackface. Among other things, it has been and continues to be, used to dehumanize or belittle African Americans.
“If I had known what it meant before the game, I would not have done it. If you knew me, you would know I do not judge a person by their race. I see humans as equals. My goal was to have a fun time supporting my team. I have read really harsh comments about Danville School and town. These comments simply aren’t true.
“I was born and raised in Danville, and it’s always been a supportive community to all. Please accept my apology.”
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