Elementary school principal disciplined after wearing blackface during staffing event

Elementary school principal disciplined after wearing blackface during staffing event
Lisa Boyer, the principal at Friendship Elementary, allegedly dressed up as “Family Feud” host, Steve Harvey. She also apologized for the incident, school staff said. (Source: WHTM/CNN)

GLEN ROCK, PA (WHTM/CNN) - A school principal in Pennsylvania has been disciplined for wearing blackface.

The incident happened months ago but a picture of the incident was just recently made public. The person who posted the image online accused the Southern York County School District of trying to sweep the controversy under the rug.

Lisa Boyer, principal of Friendship Elementary School, had her staff play a game based off “Family Feud” during a team building exercise.

She dressed up as the host, Steve Harvey.

The photo, taken by a teacher, showed Boyer in a man's suit, a costume cap to cover her hair, and makeup to darken her skin color.

“I understand the teachers that attended, were also offended immediately,” said Sandra Thompson, of the York NAACP Chapter. “And (they) also reported it to the administration, and that’s how the disciplinary process was started. The history of blackface has always been entertainment to white people. That form of entertainment has always been viewed as hurtful and demeaning to black people.”

Thompson said the incident reflects a lack of understanding.

After the photo was leaked, Thompson said the district asked the NAACP and several other organizations to become a part of the district’s diversity committee.

She believes further sensitivity training would broaden perspectives.

"What have you gauged through the atmosphere of the school district that would make you think we would find blackface entertaining?" Thompson said.

But Southern York’s superintendent said Boyer is taking steps to increase diversity awareness.

"We have to have more diversity so people have greater understanding and sensitivity because I bet if a person of color was in that room, she would have thought twice," Thompson said.

The school district is not saying how the principal was disciplined after the incident.

Officials said Boyer later apologized to her staff and deny they tried to sweep the incident under the rug.

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