100 Guilderland students stage walkout over blackface
Approximately 100 students walked out of their classrooms Tuesday at Guilderland High School to share their personal experiences with racism, according to Guilderland Central School District Superintendent Marie Wiles.
This comes after a group of students at a football game painted their face black. Some saw the act as blackface, a form of theatrical makeup popularized in the 19th century, predominantly used by non-Black performers to portray a stereotype of a Black person.
Guiderland High Principal Michael Piscitelli sent a letter home to students addressing the incident. He says each game has a theme, and last week’s was “blackout.” Students were asked to wear all black.
However, some students took it a step further and painted their face black.
Piscitelli said in the letter that the students were questioned about their actions, asked to leave the bleacher area, and were told to go to the bathroom and wash the paint off.
Superintendent Wiles says the district will take several measures to address racism in their schools.