Boy wants apology from school after being kicked out for dressing in blackface as tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. - Sean King and his family say officials at Meridian Ranch Elementary School were out of line when they reprimanded himPhoto: Sean King, a second-grader at Meridian Ranch Elementary School near Colorado Springs, Colo., wears blackface as he is interviewed by television news reporters. He and his family are calling for the school to apologize for the manner in which they reprimanded him.
A second-grader booted from the classroom for dressing in blackface as part of a Martin Luther King Jr. costume is calling for the school to apologize.
Sean King and his family say officials at Meridian Ranch Elementary School near Colorado Springs, Colo., were out of line when they reprimanded him last Wednesday for the controversial getup.
“They were really negative to me and wouldn’t tell me what the consequences were of refusing to take off the face paint,” Sean told KRDO.
The 8-year-old dressed up as King for a school project, in which students were assigned a historical figure to depict on “wax museum day,” according to the station.
Sean wore a black suit, white shirt and tie, but it was his black face paint that sparked controversy.
The principal asked Sean to remove the paint or leave school.
Sean’s parents, who were at the school to watch the students’ presentations, decided to take him home.
Anthony Roca, Sean’s father, said a meeting with the school district’s superintendent was absurd.
“The superintendent said that the words that MLK said were the most important. We didn’t need face paint,” Roca told KRDO. “I said, ‘Okay, if we don’t need the face paint, then why do we have to dress up in costumes for the school project?’”
Sean has said he never meant to offend anyone with the costume, and told the station his family still deserves an apology.
“It’s about them being mean to me and my family,” he said. “My mom ran out of the room crying.”
The family says it wants to sit down with school officials to further discuss the incident, or they will consider moving Sean to another school.
The district has not issued a public comment about Sean’s request, but told KRDO that it is considering implementing special classes to teach students and parents about racial stereotypes.