Milpitas teacher shows up to class in blackface for Halloween

Tuesday, November 5, 2019
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A white Milpitas High School teacher is on administrative leave after showing up to class on Halloween in blackface. Video of the costume went viral after teacher dressed as the rapper, Common

MILPITAS, Calif. (KGO) -- A white Milpitas High School teacher has been put on administrative leave after showing up to class on Halloween in blackface.

A student recorded the teacher and tweeted the video. It shows him imitating Common, the rapper. It has been re-tweeted more than 1,200 times and has 280,000 views.

Students told ABC7 News they couldn't believe it.

"I think it's bad because it's blackface! Like, why would you do that? It's very racist," said student Maria Jogi.

"I just think it is crazy that someone would do that, especially nowadays and around here at this amazing school. We are so diverse here," said student Jaylen Lyons, who also wanted to give the teacher the benefit of the doubt.

"I also don't think he was trying to offend anybody or be rude to anybody in any type of way because I know him kinda and he's not that kind of guy," Lyons said.

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One mom shrugged it off as just a costume.

"That's what he chose to be as a costume. I think that's ok, there's nothing wrong with that," said Agnes Francisco.

However, most other parents disagreed with the costume choice.

"Of course it's not good. It's bad. But what can we do? We should respect each other," said mom Rosalba Rodriguez.

The school board president released this statement on the incident:

The action(s) were inappropriate, unprofessional and insensitive. District administration has placed the staff member on Administrative leave and I have asked the Superintendent to ensure an immediate investigation is conducted.

The school district declined ABC7's request for an on-camera interview.

We also reached out to the principal, but haven't yet heard back.