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Board of Education meeting addresses Snapchat ‘blackface’ incident

SIMSBURY - A Board of Education meeting was held Tuesday night over a Snapchat post showing two local teens in what appeared to be Blackface.

The NAACP were outraged and showed up to address school leaders

Students of Simsbury High School and parents addressed Board of Education members about a controversial post on Snapchat of two high school girls with dark makeup on their face.

In a letter to parents, High School Principal Andrew O'Brien said the two girls were playing "makeup" with two boys and the two boys applied different colors to the girls' faces.

What the principal said was intended to be harmless fun and was interpreted as racist and a version of Blackface.

"Ignorance is ignorance. You're only doing what you're taught at home. I don't believe that they didn't know what they were doing," said Kiyana Riddick of Simsbury.

In the letter, the principal goes on to say the post was removed and the girls posted an apology and said they did not realize they could have offended anyone, but students like Kadijah Riddick believed their apology was not sincere.

"These girls knew what they were doing. I’m sorry but I’m into makeup, but their foundation color should not have been that dark in the first place. They knew what they were doing and the more you apply it on, if it was a lighter skin tone, the lighter the foundation would get," said Kiyana Riddick of Simsbury.

Members with the NAACP showed up in large numbers to spread one message - the district needs to be educated.

"They are implementing certain conversations in school, but it’s not mandatory for all the students. It’s for those students who choose to participate and if we want to have that conversation about changing the climate and the culture in the town of Simsbury, I believe that it should be inclusive of everyone," said Maxien Robinson-Lewin, President is Greater Hartford NAACP Chapter.

Superintendent Matthew Curtis also sent out his own letter to parents and staff and called the image offensive and hurtful.

"I don’t believe that there was any kind of moral character flaw. I think it was a stupid teenage brain mistake," said Tim Boswell of Simsbury.

The principal stated in the letter the two girls went to counseling for racial sensitivity and were punished.

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