Headteacher causes race row after tweeting photo of his pupils BLACKED UP as Cool Runnings Jamaican bobsleigh team

May 15, 2014 | by | 2 Comments

The headteacher of a top grammar school was forced to apologise today after tweeting a photo of his pupils – BLACKED UP.

Stephen Lehec posted the picture of the students wearing dark face paint while dressed as the Jamaican bobsleigh team from the film Cool Runnings.

The three white and one mixed race pupils donned outfits, wigs and then blacked-up their faces for a fancy dress event at the all boys school.

The picture of the pupils 'blacked up' as the Jamaican bobsleigh team

The picture of the pupils ‘blacked up’ as the Jamaican bobsleigh team


But Mr Lehec then tweeted an image of them, writing, “#AGS2014 #AGSmemories Jamaican bobsleigh team comes to the party! #coolrunnings”.

He swiftly deleted the tweet but not before it was slammed by other twitter users.

Furious Julie Davies wrote: “Aylesbury grammar school students ‘black up’ for a bit of fun?@AGSheadmaster’s timeline makes the 1950’s come alive!”

Her son Harry Davies blasted: “Why did @AGSheadmaster think it acceptable for pupils to do this?”

The year 13 pupils at Aylesbury Grammar School in Buckinghamshire wore black make up and jumpsuits at the movie-themed event to celebrate the end of their school life.

Mr Lehac, who has been head for five years, has now apologised ‘unreservedly’ for the gaffe – and admitted he exercised ‘poor judgment’.

He said: “Three of the boys ‘blacked up’ as part of dressing up as the characters.

“All of the students were enjoying their day of celebration and the experience, and at no time was there an undertone of any act being of a derogatory or racist nature.

“As with many of the groups and individuals on the day, pictures were taken some of which were posted on Twitter.

“It appears that one of those pictures caused offence and as soon as this was known, the picture was removed.

“It was not the intention of either the students or the school to cause offence and the school unreservedly ?apologises for any offence that was caused.

“The school accepts that it exercised poor judgement in not acting swiftly when it saw the boys concerned and it has taken steps to ensure that this does not happen at future school events.”

Mr Lehec, who leaves his post at the end of this term, dubbed the ‘emotional and fun-packed’ and claimed the school is ‘highly liberal and respectful’.

Category: News

Comments (2)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I thinks its a little pathetic that you have chosen to post an unedited version of the picture. This is a non-issue, and while the image may have been made public it seems cruel to risk negative implications to the kids involved, despite the fact that any rational individual can see that there was no malice involved

  2. Anonymous says:

    I don’t understand why Julie and Harry Davies took such offense to this picture? Who suddenly decided it was offensive to wear makeup to best represent a character or celebrity? Take a look at the film White Chics! Do white women find it offensive for a black guy to “white up”? Don’t be ridiculous! .

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