A Guilford High School student who attended Friday night’s varsity football home game against Hartford Public was wearing blackface, according to a letter sent by Dr. Paul Freeman, Guilford’s superintendent of schools, to the parents of students and to the school staff.
In the letter obtained by Hearst Connecticut Media, the unnamed student wearing the blackface “was immediately addressed by the Guilford School Resource Officer who directed him to remove the face paint, which he did, before the game began and before most of the spectators arrived,” the letter stated.
The incident was first reported by the Hartford Courant Tuesday afternoon. The Courant reported Lorri Hahn, the school-wide communications director, said the student was not a member of the football team.
Freeman also noted that both Guilford principal Rick Misenti and school athletic director Jake Jarvis both called Hartford Public to apologize for what occurred at the game. “This individual incident is unacceptable,” Freeman said.
Requests to both Freeman and Misenti for further comment were not immediately returned.
Freeman also indicated that plans are already underway to “address it from an educational stance moving forward” at both the high school and Elisabeth C. Adams Middle School.
“No incident occurs in isolation. If even one Guilford student felt that wearing blackface was acceptable or funny, then we have more work to do,” Freeman wrote in the letter. “As a community we will continue to educate our students about racial relations, about racism and racist behaviors, and about ways in which to be accepting and supportive of all.”