A 32-year-old first-grade teacher from Iowa is reportedly being investigated for wearing blackface to a Halloween party. The teacher, identified as Megan Luloff, was dressed as LaFawnduh from Napoleon Dynamite for the occasion and was seen posing for pictures, wearing dark makeup in an effort to look African-American.
Blackface is the practice of wearing makeup and costumes by non-black people to appear as a person of color. The practice, which is seen as disparaging stereotypes, is strongly criticized by the Aboriginal community, civil rights, and anti-discrimination groups and activists.
Reports state Luloff, who teaches at Walcott Elementary School, covered her face, arms, hands, and feet with dark makeup. She was also wearing a leopard print blouse, white pants, and heels to the party which was held at the Walcott American Legion on Friday night last week, according to the Daily Mail. The teacher was seen posing for pictures with other smiling partygoers who did not appear to see anything amiss with her controversial choice of costume.
Davenport School District Superintendent Art Tate, while talking to the Quad-City Times, condemned the incident and said that "Blackface is never appropriate in any circumstance by any person." Vice president of the district's school board, Linda Hayes, told the news outlet that the teacher's decision to do blackface, and also sharing pictures of it online, is harmful to the minority students studying at the school.
"I cannot clearly articulate how offensive and appalling it is to people of color. In light of our recent developments within the district, this was in very poor taste, not to mention totally out of line with regard to professionalism," Hayes said.
A first-grade teacher at Walcott Elementary in Walcott, Iowa reportedly showed up to a Halloween party for the Grown & Stupid wearing blackface: https://t.co/51fo7wWJDc pic.twitter.com/Pg72VuehqL— The Root (@TheRoot) October 25, 2018
The school district also released a statement saying that it will come to a decision about the teacher's employment at the school once their investigation into the incident is complete. “The district strives to provide a quality education enriched by our diverse community, in a fair and supportive environment for all,” the statement read.
“The images run counter to the respect, values, and beliefs the district promotes and should not be a reflection on the District as a whole," The Root reported. “This situation is not taken lightly by any member of the board. The district will determine how to best address the matter after further investigation," the statement added.
The news of the incident comes after NBC host Megyn Kelly faced heavy criticism for her controversial remarks about blackface for a Halloween costume. Kelly had reportedly stated that it was "okay" for white people to wear blackface when she was growing up.