CHASKA, Minn. (FOX 9) - Chaska High School postponed the distribution of its yearbook for the 2018-19 school year after discovering a photo of a student in blackface, according to the school district.
In a letter sent to parents Wednesday, assistant principal Jim Swearingen said a photo of the cheering section at the school’s annual football game against Chanhassen High School included one student in blackface. School officials did not discover the photo until after the yearbook went to print, but the school is now taking steps to remove the page containing the photo before distributing the yearbooks to students.
Swearingen said they have talked about the incident, as well as the racist history behind wearing blackface, as a school community.
In a statement, Superintendent Clint Christopher acknowledged there is still work to be done at schools in the district.
“These incidents do not and will not define us, and we are investing in long-term, system-wide work to change the culture so that every person who is a part of our school community feels safe, welcome, included and respected,” Christopher said.
The school plans to distribute the yearbook to seniors on Thursday and to the rest of the students by June 4.
Full statement from Eastern Carver County Schools Superintendent
It’s important to acknowledge that there are issues in our schools. No one in the district is contesting that we have work to do, and I take my responsibility to our students, each and every one of them, seriously and personally. I–and I speak for my staff and for the School Board – am committed to fixing these concerns at every level of our school district. These incidents do not and will not define us, and we are investing in long-term, system-wide work to change the culture so that every person who is a part of our school community feels safe, welcome, included, and respected.