Officials Say Connecticut High School Student Attended Football Game in Blackface

An unnamed Guilford High School student arrived at a football game against rivals Hartford Public High School in blackface, reported Eyewitness News 3, WTNH and the Hartford Courant.

Guilford Public Schools superintendent Paul Freeman reported in a letter sent to the town's board of education and to Guilford community at large on Tuesday, that a resource officer from their school immediately approached the student—who has not yet been identified, but WFSB says is a sophomore and the Courant reports is not a member of the football team—and told him to remove his face paint, which he did, before the game began or the majority of its spectators arrived.

Yet witnesses told WTNH that at least one picture of the student—labeled "game time"—wound up on Snapchat before the facepaint could be removed.

Freeman went on to call the incident "unacceptable" but added "no incident occurs in isolation," though he did not feel that the incident reflected the Guilford High School's student body in the majority.

"If even one Guilford student felt that wearing blackface was acceptable or funny, then we have more work to do," Freeman said.

Hartford Public officials told WFSB, "We do not believe that the Guilford student had any interaction with our students. However, we take this very seriously. Counselors are available for any student who would like to discuss their concerns regarding this incident. Our District Model for Excellence's major priority on School Climate & Culture is to guarantee that all students feel safe, valued, and respected. We are proud and celebrate our diversity."

Protesters rally against Virginia Governor Ralph Northam outside of the governors mansion in downtown Richmond, Virginia on February 4, 2019 wile calling for the resignation of Virginia Governor Ralph Northam. A Guiliford, Connecticut High School Student was accused of wearing blackface to a football game on Tuesday. LOGAN CYRUS/AFP/Getty

It is unclear if the student will face further discipline for the incident, though "administration at Guilford High School and at Adams Middle School are discussing ways in which we will address this topic with our students," said Freeman.

Dori Dumas, President of the Greater New Haven NAACP, told WTNH: "This is a racist act. We want it looked at like a hate crime or at least a hate act, which it is. We want that behavior to be taken very seriously."

Freeman said in his statement that he called the principal of Hartford Public High School and offered an apology. This was confirmed in a statement by Kiaundra Smith, Principal of Hartford Public Schools, who issued the following statement to WTNH:

"We do not believe that the Guilford student had any interaction with our students. However, we take this very seriously. Counselors are available for any student who would like to discuss their concerns regarding this incident. Our District Model for Excellence's major priority on School Climate & Culture is to guarantee that all students feel safe, valued, and respected. We are proud and celebrate our diversity.

We will continue to take all precautions and measures necessary to maintain the physical, psychological, and emotional safety of every individual in our building."

According to state educational records, 27 percent of Hartford Public High School's student body is black, while Guilford's stands at 1 percent.

Officials Say Connecticut High School Student Attended Football Game in Blackface | U.S.