A Montessori preschool in Massachusetts closed and apologized after preschoolers painted black faces on paper plates in an activity meant to celebrate Black History Month
ICKids Montessori Preschool in Newton, Massachusetts, closed indefinitely after a teacher had students use black paint to make paper plate masks in an activity meant to celebrate Black History Month. No, you aren’t reading an article from years past — this racist AF classroom activity happened in 2022.
On top of creating the offensive masks, the students were also ‘planking’ — a popular trend in 2011 that also mirrors the way people who were enslaved were transported to the Americas in ships after being ripped from their homes.
When parents first found out about the activity through social media posts from the school, the complaints started rolling in. The school posted a sad excuse of an “apology” on their Facebook page, starting it off with an “To all who are offended,” and it only got worse from there.
“We sincerely apologize for what happened with one of our classroom activities: black face. [sic] Our intention was to celebrate Black History Month. Unfortunately we didn’t do enough research on black history [sic] and carried out a wrong activity. We are sorry about it and we mean it!”
Naturally, the school got dragged for the insincere apology and for not doing “enough research,” which might be the most mind-boggling aspect of the pseudo-sorry. The school quickly removed the post and replaced it with a second, still-hollow statement, saying, “While wording of Facebook apology was not the best statement, 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 longer post also noted that the instructor responsible for this classroom activity “has since been released from her employment at ICKids.”
After numerous complaints about the racist classroom activity, the school closed indefinitely
The school cited protests that “will put the children at risk” as the reason for shutting down the preschool, but noted that if the center were to reopen, that “all staff will bee trained in Diversity and creating curriculum for the birth to 5 year old age group.”
“We would also aim high for a more diverse staff with strong child care background knowledge and experience. Multicultural issues in child care and other mandated professional development will be done continuously through the year,” the statement concluded.