Demand Punishment for Students in Blackface

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Target: Waverly Superintendent Joseph Yelich

Goal: Appropriately punish students who performed skit with blackface and domestic violence references

Recently, students at Waverly High School in Waverly, New York performed a skit for their classmates at a pep rally in which they re-enacted the 2009 incident when Chris Brown brutally beat Rihanna.  The students are white, and performed this skit in blackface. The skit was approved by school administrators prior to the rally and was allowed to be performed in its entirety.

Performing in blackface is an extremely racist act. Blackface has historically been a way for white actors to deride and persecute people of color, and to many, this connotation still exists. Blackface is racist and offensive, and there is never a good excuse for a white actor to wear it today. Additionally, these students chose to re-enact a scene of domestic violence, which is a serious issue that should not be joked about in a school skit. The skit was performed at a pep rally, which is meant to increase school spirit. Brutal domestic violence should never be associated with a positive event.

For this offensive skit to be performed, school officials had to approve it. Additionally, no one commented on the skit as it happened, and the act of domestic violence was performed in its entirety. The students who performed the skit have faced no punishment for their racist actions. The superintendent of the school district has only said of the incident, ‘The Waverly School District is committed to creating a positive atmosphere through our activities. I will be working with our building administrators, our staff and our students to examine our current activities and develop future activities consistent with our commitment.” These students’ actions should not go ignored. Demand they be appropriately punished for the offensive skit.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Superintendent Yelich,

Recently, a group of students at Waverly High School performed an offensive skit at a pep rally. The students wore blackface and re-enacted an incident of brutal domestic violence. The skit has caused controversy among alumni of the school, and has offended many people. It is unthinkable that a skit as racist and offensive as this would be approved for performance.

I ask you to give an appropriate punishment to the students who performed this skit. Blackface and domestic violence are both things that should never be celebrated in a positive performance. These students need to learn how their actions have offended others and dissuaded from doing anything like this again. Punish these students so that they can learn their actions have consequences.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

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One Comment

  1. These students obviously were not much in American history. Didn’t they learn about Jim Crow? If not, they should be obligated to repeat the course.

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