Arkansas parents are fuming after photos showing a Blevins School District elected official in blackface surfaced online in recent days.
The photos, taken at a Halloween party, show Belvins School District superintendent Ted Bonner dressed as a farmer or slave with black face paint and overalls while holding a “Blak Lives Matter” sign.
According to KATV Channel 7 News, Bonner has two more years left in his term and voters must wait until then to vote him out, even though many are calling for his resignation now.
“With respect to the voters, they are the people with whom the power actually lies. But their option is to only wait until the individual in question comes up for re-election. And they can make a choice at the ballot box,” said Kristen Garner, staff attorney with the Arkansas School Boards Association.
Channel 7 News reported that Bonner apologized for his attire and use of blackface in a Nov. 14 board meeting.
On the same day of that apology, Superintendent Billy Lee released a statement denouncing Bonner’s actions and promising to investigate similar incidents in the future.
“Please rest assured that if it comes to my attention that any staff member has behaved in a way inconsistent with this district’s values and policy of anti-discrimination, a swift investigation and response will be forthcoming,” the statement read.
However, the NAACP has gotten involved and wants more than a wait-and-vote solution to the issue.
In a statement released by Arkansas State Conference of the NAACP President Rizelle Aaron on Wednesday, Aaron called for Bonner’s resignation again despite officials’ claims that they can do nothing.
“Ted Bonner’s service as a school board member that oversees a district of racially and culturally diverse students is an egregious act. Elected officials have an obligation to be a role model for our future leaders and Bonner has conducted himself in a manner that is unbecoming of an elected official and has brought embarrassment and negative national attention to the Blevins School District and the great state of Arkansas.”