GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Members of the NAACP Grand Rapids branch plan to address members of the Forest Hills school board after pictures of a Forest Hills Northern high school student wearing blackface were posted on social media.
Several people posted photos on social media, showing a student in a classroom, wearing blackface, which is makeup that was used to portray racial stereotypes in the 19th Century.
The organization is now encouraging concerned community members to attend the Forest Hills school board meeting at 7 p.m. this Monday, February 19 at Meadow Brook Elementary, 1450 Forest Hills Avenue SE., Grand Rapids.
While some people on social media claimed the student shouted racial slurs while in blackface, the school says that is not the case. School leaders also say at no point was the student allowed to walk the halls with the makeup on.
Forest Hills Public Schools Superintendent Daniel Behm had previously told FOX 17 the district has zero tolerance for this type of behavior. Behm was unable to disclose whether the student who wore blackface was disciplined due to federal privacy laws.
In a news release, members of the NAACP GR branch say they plan to take action against the board in response to the incident which was condemned by school leaders, students and members of the community.
We reached out to the school board and the principal of Forest Hills Northern High School for comment but have not yet heard back. In a letter home to parents back when the incident first happened, the principal said:
"Northern High school does not condone or accept when persons’ actions and/or words harm another intentionally or unintentionally. We talk about Husky Pride, “The Pack”, and UBUNTU. We cannot simply use these words; we must live them. We need to respect each other as human beings and our differences of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or any other difference we may have. While we may not agree with each other all of the time, we can respect each other. We all need to agree that racism is not acceptable in Forest Hills."