Peters Township School District investigating allegations that marching band members wore black face

Josh Peters, Staff Writer

Peters Township School District is currently undergoing investigations that members of its marching band wore black face during a performance at their football game Friday night against Woodland Hills.

Peters Township’s football team and band are prodominatly caucasian and Woodland Hills football team and band are prodominantly African American.

“Peters Township School District does not condone or permit discrimination,” the district said in a statement provided to KDKA. (Jennifer Borrasso, KDKA TV News).

Woodland Hills senior Desmon Jackson said whatever the intent was, it was hurtful. He said his teammates felt mocked. He also went on to say, “I felt a lot of disgust for what I saw”…”Call it whatever you want,” he added. “To us, it’s black face.”

A picture of two students, drum majors in the Peters Township marching band, shows them marching while wearing full-body black spandex suits while others were just wearing regular Halloween costumes. These band members removed their suits before the halftime show.

In a letter to the community, Woodland Hills Superintendent James Harris said there were several racially insensitive moments directed toward his students and this was not the first time.

“They wore a black bodysuit that covered their face and body, and that could be interpreted as mocking African Americans,” said Harris.

Harris said Peters Township Superintendent Jeannine French called him on Sunday, apologized, and told him she is investigating the matter.

A final statement came from a friend of one of the drum majors. They told KDKA that the suits were not meant to be offensive. He said they were depicting Merilyn Monroe and her husband as ghosts and the suits were to give the appearance that the instruments were floating.

Late in the game, a brief fight brokeout between the two teams, though it’s unclear if these black face accusations were the cause of it.