A white Colorado second-grade student was sent home from school last week after he showed up to school in blackface. Sean King, 7, covered his face in black paint to portray Martin Luther King Jr., as part of an assignment that required students to dress up as a historical figure.
“They thought it was inappropriate and it will be disrespectful to black people and I say it’s not,” Sean told Colorado’s NewsChannel 13. “I like black people. It’s just a costume and I don’t want to insult anybody.”
King was removed from school after he refused to wash the black paint of his face.
“Sean seems to be a decent kid who wanted to honor Dr. King in some way. I think it would be good for the young man to understand and his family to also understand why there are still people who are offended by black face worn by white people,” Steve Klein from The King Center in Atlanta told NewsChannel 13.
“There is a disconnect here that young people need to know their history a little better,” Klein went on to say.
King’s school, Meridian Ranch Elementary School, has an estimated 600 students. According to the most recent public records 79.5% of the student body is white, 4.4% black and 10.9% Latino.