According to CNN, pictures of at least two toddlers in blackface were posted by a teacher on the Studio Kids Little River’s messaging app on February 3, along with a caption that read, “Black history month.” The photos showed one child dressed as a police officer and another dressed as a construction worker with dark paint covering their face. Parents who saw the images immediately expressed outrage, calling out the daycare for the racist incident.
“You’re a certified, established institutions, you should know better,” Courtney Politis, whose 1-year-old daughter attended Studio Kids Little River at the time, told CNN. “I mean, ignorance on – about racism in 2023 is no longer ignorant, in my opinion.” Politis added that she reached out to the school to express her concern. However, when she spoke with the daycare owner, Patricia Vitale, and called the photographs racist, Vitale allegedly asked her to explain what was considered racist.
While Vitale declined to comment, she reportedly sent a message to all school parents apologizing following backlash.
“We have not intended to offend anyone, and we’re very sorry about any inconvenience,” the message read, per CNN. Three days later, Vitale sent another message saying that her staff would receive additional training in response to the incident. “We wanted to let all the parents know that we met on Friday afternoon with all the teachers and staff. We went over several ethical and multicultural education points,” the message added. “I will teach the team a class covering all the necessary topics regarding US history and multicultural education … you may rest assured this will never happen again.”
Despite the apology, Politis decided to pull her two children out of two separate branches of Studio Kids. “The bottom line is we can’t trust them with our children all apologies aside,” she told CNN. “I thought we would have more time before these sorts of things or racism or microaggressions would have to be experienced by our children. So the fact that you can’t, I feel like I can’t protect my children from what’s happening is probably the most disappointing and upsetting of all of this.”
Join our email list to stay connected.