Courting controversy: The images of the white girls with their faces painted black were posted on social media, sparking outrage
 

A high school in Missouri is under fire after photos have emerged showing a dozen seniors, all of them white, taking part in a powder-puff football while in full-on blackface.

The racially insensitive photos were taken November 5 at Sullivan High School during an annual game where girls from each grade faced off against one another on the football field, with some of the male players acting as coaches.

A dozen teenage girls from the senior class took the field with their faces entirely painted black, as parents and school officials looked on from the bleachers.

Racially insensitive: This photo of Sullivan High School students in full-on blackface was taken November 5 after a powder-puff football game  

Racially insensitive: This photo of Sullivan High School students in full-on blackface was taken November 5 after a powder-puff football game  

'I thought, "Oh my gosh,"' Sullivan Principal Jennifer Schmidt told St Louis Post-Dispatch. 'I knew they didn’t mean anything by it, but, in hindsight, I should have made them wash it off and move on.'

The seniors in blackface ended up defeating their opponents and posed with the medals awarded for their victory.

In one of the two pictures shared on Facebook two weeks ago, the all-female team is flanked by three young men, presumably Sullivan football players, who had no paint on their faces.

Principal Schmidt said the girl who posted the photos at the center of the controversy was 'mortified' that it had sparked outrage in some circles and attracted media attention.

The November 5 game was organized by the junior class to raise money for the prom.

In years past, girls taking part in the powder-puff game have painted their faces black and gold, which are the school colors, or worn eye black inspired by male football players.

True colors: The principal of the school said the girls only had black paint to work with that day. In the past, students have painted their faces black and gold, which are the colors of the school  

True colors: The principal of the school said the girls only had black paint to work with that day. In the past, students have painted their faces black and gold, which are the colors of the school  

Ban: Going forward, student likely will be prohibited from using any face paint during powder-puff games 

Ban: Going forward, student likely will be prohibited from using any face paint during powder-puff games 

Opportunity: The school plans to use the incident as a teachable moment

Opportunity: The school plans to use the incident as a teachable moment

According to Schmidt, on the day of the game the seniors brought with them only black facepaint, so they decided to work with what they had.

The girls in question have not been reprimanded because, as Schmidt explained, they had no intention to offend anyone, or make a statement about race relations.

'They just weren't thinking,' said the principal of her students.

Schmidt added that the school will use the incident as a teachable moment and explain to students why it is offensive to wear blackface.

As a result of the controversy, students likely will be prohibited from wearing face paint going forward.

 
 
 
 
 
Staff
By Staff 11/19/2014 23:08:00
 

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