A high school teacher has been placed on administrative leave in California after he wore blackface to school on Halloween, according to the Milpitas Unified School District. A video posted on social media shows the teacher with his face painted black and dressed up in an apparent attempt to imitate the rapper Common. “Opportunities limitless, possibilities senseless, what will you do? Millions of people, not enough to eat, what will we do? With AI, Microsoft technology, the future is up to you, you can do it. With AI. The future will blow your mind,” the teacher says in the video.
Milpitas High School Principal Francis Rojas and MUSD Superintendent Cheryl Jordan said in a statement that the teacher, who has not been named, was suspended and now is under investigation for the “disparaging” act. “In a school community where we welcome learners and families from over 50 languages who represent cultures and religions throughout the world, and where our long-standing neighborhood, Sunnyhills, was established as the first city in the nation for planned integration, it hurts to know that this type of cultural insensitivity and lack of cultural awareness still hovers in the background,” reads the statement.
Because the teacher has not been identified, CNN has been unable to reach out to him for comment. Chris Norwood, the MUSD school board president, called the teacher’s actions “inappropriate, unprofessional and insensitive,” according to an online statement. “As an African American man, the history of Blackface reminds me of the cruelty, hatred and fear my parents and people of African Ancestry have dealt with in the past and still experience today around the world,” Norwood said.