Wearing blackface to mock or deride black people is not cool. Wearing “war paint” as a part of school athletics, however, is perfectly normal and innocuous. Normal people understand the distinction between these two very different things.
Apparently, some public school officials are not, in fact, normal people.
A California middle school has reportedly suspended a student for wearing black face paint at a football game. As Cal Coast News reports:
A middle school in California suspended a student last month for wearing black face paint at a football game, something that constituted a “hate incident,” according to a suspension notice issued by the school’s principal.
Muirlands Middle School Principal Jeff Luna also banned the eighth grade student from attending San Diego Unified School District sporting events for the remainder of the year for what he claims was blackface, the student’s father told CalCoastNews. A photo shows the boy was wearing face paint similar to what some football players wear, clearly not blackface, said the father, who asked not to be named.
Five days after the game, the father was called into the principal’s office. Principal Luna said the face paint was blackface because Morse High School has a largely Black student body, the father said.
Luna issued the eighth grader a two-day suspension for violating the school’s hate incidents policy related to offensive comments and intent to harm, the suspension notice shows. The notice describes the incident merely as the student “painted his face black at a football game.”
The father said he is appealing the suspension. He does not want his son to face false accusations and deal with mistreatment from educators as he progresses through the school system, the father said.
This is an obvious injustice.
It’s also an example of what happens when “woke” social justice ideologues run schools and take their ideology to its most absurd limits. There was no negative racial intent from the student here whatsoever. There was no one at the event who was harmed or complained. And he did nothing wrong, yet is facing serious consequences from his school and being unfairly tarred as racist.
This school isn’t just screwing over an innocent student for no reason—it may also be violating his constitutional rights. The nonpartisan Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE) just blasted the school’s overreach and warned that its actions violate its students’ First Amendment rights.
“[This student’s] non-disruptive, objectively inoffensive face paint was constitutionally protected expression,” FIRE wrote in a letter to Principal Luna. “Muirlands Middle School has no authority to discipline [this student] for his non-disruptive, constitutionally protected display of team spirit.”
Here’s hoping this school rights this wrong. If it doesn’t, it should be sued into oblivion and the principal who made this decision should be forced to update his resume.