School district administrators in Glen Rock, Penn., are on the receiving end of a lot of criticism after one of their principals was seen wearing blackface.
In August, Lisa Boyer, the principal of Friendship Elementary School, dressed up like Steve Harvey in a game of “Family Feud” for a team building exercise with the staff. The photo just began getting a lot of attention late last month.
The students weren’t in school at the time, because it was a teachers-only day, however many were still furious about the meeting. Besides using makeup to darken her face, Boyer also wore a do-rag on her head, plus a man’s suit and phony mustache.
There wasn’t any people of color in the room at the time, and on the same day a former food service contractor, Danny Boyce, posted a photo of the meeting and sent it to the school district.
On that same day, an investigation was launched and Boyer apologized to everyone at the meeting. She was also disciplined, but the details of how she was punished haven’t been revealed. Because according to superintendent Sandra Lemmon, the matter is a personal one.
Lemmon also said that she didn’t feel that Boyer attempted to make a racist statement, and many accused the district of trying sweep everything “under the rug,” which they denied.
“After completing the investigation, the principal was disciplined and apologized to school staff who were present for the incident,” read a statement from the school district.
“The central office administration also made clear to the principal that such conduct violated both the letter and the spirit of the School District’s nondiscrimination policies. This matter was not ‘swept under the rug.’ It was promptly addressed, and it was made clear that this incident was inappropriate within the school setting.”
Boyer released a statement as well.
“I deeply regret my decision and have learned from it,” she wrote. “Even though I did not have ill intent, my poor choice was addressed by both the administrative team and school board. On top of those repercussions, I publicly apologized to staff and met with some parents as well.”
For Boyce’s part, he’s been called a hero for exposing the photos and people continue to believe more should’ve been done to the principal.
“A principal that wasn’t aware this was wrong should not be a principal,” someone tweeted on Jan. 31