Cumberland school officials investigating after photo of students in blackface posted online

Posted October 27, 2020 8:18 p.m. EDT
Updated October 28, 2020 4:12 p.m. EDT

A photo showing two Cumberland County students in blackface was posted on social media. The district is now investigating.

— Cumberland County Schools officials said Tuesday that they are investigating after a photo of two students in blackface was posted on social media.

"In Cumberland County Schools, we are committed to providing every student with a fair opportunity for success and treating everyone with dignity and respect," Associate Superintendent Lindsay Whitley said in a statement. "An inappropriate social media post featuring two CCS students was recently brought to our attention. The post does not align with our district’s core values. School and district personnel are investigating this situation and will respond in accordance with board policy."

The mother of one of the students said Wednesday that the students got charcoal facials at a friend's house several weeks ago and that someone recently got hold of a photo taken that night, manipulated it in PhotoShop and posted it online.

"These kids are not racist," she said, noting that they had no idea what blackface was before the controversy erupted.

The students attend two different Cumberland County schools, and both schools are handling the matter administratively, she said.

"It was never their intention to hurt the feelings of anybody of a different ethnic group," she said, calling the decision to take and share photos of the night "a poor choice."

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