Miami daycare apologises after putting children in blackface for Black History Month

Courtney Politis, who is Black, said she has since pulled her biracial children from two separate locations of the preschool

Andrea Blanco
Wednesday 15 February 2023 22:38 GMT
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A daycare in Florida has apologised after painting children’s faces black as part of a lesson for Black History Month.

Courtney Politis said she was left stunned after a fellow parent at Studio Kids’ Little River in Miami sent her pictures of several two-year-olds in blackface during what appeared to be a lesson plan to celebrate Black History Month.

Ms Politis, who is Black, said she has since pulled her biracial children from two separate locations of the preschool.

“I thought we would have more time before these sort of things, racism or microaggressions, would have been experienced by our children,” Ms Politis told CNN.

The mother-of-two said she reached out to Studio Kids director Patricia Vitale, who initially seemed dumbfounded when Ms Politis shared her concerns. According to texts Ms Politis shared with CNN, the school director initially responded: “In our school, we don’t use [Blackface] neither [do] we have this kind of mind.”

Courtney Politis said she was left stunned after a fellow parent at Studio Kids’ Little River in Miami sent her pictures of several two-year-olds in blackface
Courtney Politis said she was left stunned after a fellow parent at Studio Kids’ Little River in Miami sent her pictures of several two-year-olds in blackface (CNN/Screenshot )

The school, where tuition can be up to $1,500 per month, according to its website, has since issued a statement apologising for the “confusion,” adding that staff has been retrained to avoid similar incidents in the future.

“Following the Black History Month incident. We want to let all the parents know that we met Friday afternoon with all the teachers and staff. We went over several ethical and multicultural education points,” the statement read, per CNN.

“I will teach them a class covering all the necessary topics regarding U.S. history and multicultural education. You may rest assured this will never happen again.”

In a statement to The Miami Herald, Ms Vitale said that the “issue was already resolved” and that reportedly 80 per cent of the families “were okay” with the way the matter was handled.

It is unclear whether the school has decided to discipline the person or people behind the lesson plan. The Independent has reached out for comment.

“You should know better as an educator,” Ms Politis told the Herald. “What else are you teaching our children?”

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