School Official Dons Black Face, Dresses Like 1930s Caricature Of Slave For Halloween

Amber Randall | Civil Rights Reporter

An Arkansas school district board member’s blackface Halloween costume sparked outrage from the community and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

Ted Bonner, who works at the Blevins School District, wore a costume reminiscent of a 1930’s slave caricature for a Halloween party, reports the Evening Standard.

Bonner, posing in multiple pictures, wore blackface and held a sign reading “Black lives matter.”

 

Parents were outraged at Bonner’s costume and began calling for him to step down from his position.

“It’s a little bit hurtful in the way to think my children are being supervised by a person who feels like that is all they’re worth,” Faye Smith, a mother of two, declared.

Billy Lee, the school’s superintendent, issued a statement, claiming that Bonner had apologized to school district board members at a meeting Monday.

“This district is deeply committed to creating and maintaining a strong and healthy school culture free of bullying, and any form of discrimination,” Lee’s statement read.

Arkansas NAACP President Rizelle Aaron called for Bonner to step down because of the offensive photos. Elected officials have to be role models and Bonner’s photos have only brought embarrassment to the school district and Arkansas, Aaron said.

Lee said he has no power to make Bonner step down. Bonner can be removed by voters or resign in 2018 when his term is finished.

“He’s actually my boss. Neither the school board nor the administration holds the power to discipline or remove a school board member,” Lee said. “Only the voters have the power during the next school board election.”

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