Blackface (270319)

A school district in Iowa has launched an investigation into a teacher who wore blackface to a Halloween party, in yet another case of someone being exposed for using the racist practice for Halloween, reports the Huffington Post. The investigation comes amid renewed and widespread public discussion about blackface after “Today” host Megyn Kelly defended its use for Halloween. Her show was cancelled late last week. The Davenport (Iowa) School District is investigating teacher Megan Luloff at Walcott Elementary & Intermediate School for reportedly wearing blackface to a public Halloween party last Friday night. Luloff, who is white, dressed as Lafawnsuh, a character in the movie “Napoleon Dynamite,” The Quad-City Times reported. Actress Shondrella Avery, who is Black, plays the character. A spokeswoman for the Davenport School District confirmed the district learned of the incident on Monday and that an investigation led by human resources has since been underway. The district did not confirm whether the teacher has returned to school, and it referred HuffPost to comments by the superintendent in the Quad-City Times report. “The wearing of blackface is never appropriate in any circumstance by any person,” Superintendent Art Tate said in an email to the Times. “The issue is under investigation by the district.”

The Iowa State Department told the district months ago to address an audit concerning its special education services and students of color, the Times reported. The audit found that a disproportionate number of students of color were identified for special education services and that they were disproportionately subjected to disciplinary actions. “The revelation that the woman in blackface is a teacher who is expected to provide a safe and equitable classroom environment for all children is very disconcerting,” Betty C. Andrews, the president of the Iowa-Nebraska NAACP Conference of Branches, said.