In a lesson Feb 10 about Black History Month, a Miami teacher painted her students faces with blackface. The school director couldn’t find an issue with it, Miami Herald reported.
At least three students from the Studio Kids school in Miami’s Little River neighborhood had their faces painted with black paint to teach about Black History Month. One kid was dressed up as a construction worker and another a police officer while the third child’s uniform or outfit was unclear.
Courtney Politis, a black mother, saw an image of the children where her daughter attended preschool and removed her from the school asking, “What else are you teaching our children?”
Supposedly the school director, Patricia Vitale, was at a loss for words when she was told that the move was “racist.” “I’m sorry? … What’s racist?” she told Politis (the mother).
“We have not intended to offend anyone, and we are very sorry about any inconvenience. The parents that know us, know that we have never had a bad intention in our institution,” the director said. She also apparently said that 80 percent of the families “are okay,” following news of the event.
Meanwhile one parent told the Miami Herald, “I am shocked and somewhat destabilized. How do I trust them to make the decision about what to show my toddler?”
The Studio Kids website claims its locations offer an “environment that nurtures an honest, respectful, reliable, and creative child[ren],” and apparently now blackface too. The preschool that serves infants and toddlers can cost up to $1,500 a month.
Why the teacher painted toddlers faces black is still not clear and neither is why she thought the kids could even understand a lesson about Black History Month. While of course, teaching history is important, these kids are like 2-years-old at most. Toddlers don’t have the brain capacity to not put freaking bugs in their mouths, how are they supposed to understand a lesson on Black History Month?