By: KDKA-TV News Staff
PETERS TOWNSHIP, Pa. (KDKA) – The Peters Township School District superintendent is apologizing following allegations members of its marching band wore blackface.
The apology comes days after the Peters Township School District said it is investigating allegations that members of its marching band wore black face during a performance. The allegations claim it happened during the football game on Friday night against Woodland Hills.
KDKA obtained a picture of two students, drum majors in the Peters Township band, marching while wearing full-body black spandex suits while others in the band appeared to wear Halloween costumes.
In the letter dated Nov. 3, Peters Township Superintendent Jeannine French apologized to Woodland Hills Superintendent James Harris.
French says the initial investigation shows that the students didn’t have any racist or harmful intent but the costumes in context of the game were insensitive.
Woodland Hills senior Desmon Jackson told KDKA earlier in the week that whatever the intent was, it was hurtful. He said his teammates felt mocked.
“I felt a lot of disgust for what I saw,” Jackson told KDKA’s Jennifer Borrasso on Monday. “Call it whatever you want,” he added. “To us, it’s blackface.”
The apology letter from Peters Township also says the investigation revealed that there were “multiple missed opportunities” for adults at the game to address the costumes before going on the field.
“For the harm and hurt that our actions and inactions caused to the Woodland Hills football team, cheerleaders, fans, administration, and school community, we sincerely apologize,” the letter says.
“I would like to personally thank you, the Woodland Hills Coaches, and Athletic Director for your pursuit of change over blame, and your willingness to work with us to turn a hurtful situation into a teachable moment calling for us to do better and be better.”