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‘Consequences Need to be Taken’: Parents Outraged at Middle School Students Who Posted Pictures In Blackface and Claimed It Was to Celebrate Different Cultures

Pine-Richland School District is investigating two middle school students for posting racists photo of themselves in Blackface.

The two students posted a photos of themselves posing with the black paint on their faces in a bathroom at Pine-Richland Middle School in Gibsonia, Pennsylvania.

(Left) Two middle students posing in blackface in school’s bathroom. (Middle) Front of Pine-Richland Middle School. (Right) Another student posing in blackface. (Photos: @KDKVATV/ Youtube screenshot)

The photo was taken during field day activities on June 1 during their last week of school. Parents says that it is a time when students celebrate different countries and paint their faces, according to KDKA. One of the photos taken was captioned, “Drip.”

Russell Patterson, a Black parent, has three children in the Pine-Richland School District and says his eighth grade daughter made him aware of the photos.

“I was shown the picture by my daughter, and she was pretty upset by it,” Patterson said to KDKA. “And it’s pretty upsetting in general that this is still going on.”

A school district spokesperson sent the following statement to KDKA on June 8.

“The district is aware of a racist photo involving two Pine-Richland Middle School students that is completely inappropriate and offensive. This photo taken in a bathroom occurred during field day activities yesterday. We appreciate that students and parents brought it to our attention this afternoon. The building administrators are conducting an investigation and will take appropriate next steps consistent with the Discipline Code.”

“Pine-Richland School District values a school culture that is safe, supportive and welcoming for all students. We are opposed to racism in any form and the actions of these students. It is our goal to strengthen a positive culture for every student at Pine-Richland. The foundation of learning is established in a safe and supportive environment,” the statement went on to say.

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, this is the second incident dealing with racism in Pine-Richland School District this school year. In September, a white student made a social media posts that pictured him holding a sign. The sign read, “If I was black I would be picking cotton, but I’m white, so I’m picking you for homecoming.” The sign also had cotton glued to the poster board.

As for the blackface photos, the school district didn’t provide any details on how the students would be punished. KDKA-TV said that they reached out to board members on June 8 and they only responded with “Contact District Administration.”

“I do think consequences need to be taken,” Patterson said to KDKA. “Also there needs to be some intervening from counselors and other school-based professionals.”

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