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First-grade teacher attends Halloween party in blackface

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A first-grade teacher at Walcott Elementary in Iowa is under investigation by the Davenport school district after she showed up to a Halloween party in blackface.

Megan Luloff was a part of a group costume effort in which she was depicting Lafawnduh, an African American character from the film Napoleon Dynamite. The party took place at Walcott American Legion’s “Boos Bash."

“The wearing of blackface is never appropriate in any circumstance by any person,” Davenport School District Superintendent Art Tate said in an email. “The issue is under investigation by the district.”

Linda Hayes, the liaison for the district’s disproportionality initiatives said the whole thing is disturbing especially in light of certain other accusations of racism that have plagued the school district.

“I cannot clearly articulate how offensive and appalling it is to people of color,” she said. “In light of our recent developments within the district, this was in very poor taste, not to mention totally out of line with regard to professionalism.”

The "developments" Hayes is referring to are allegations that the district, currently under state supervision, puts a disproportionate number of minority students in special education. And a recent investigation showed there is "data to suggest they're just treated differently in several areas."

Hayes adds: “We are working very hard with professionals from across the country and within the state to assist with the problem of disproportionality, and one of our own is fueling the fire with blatant racism. All I can say is it’s very sad, and totally unacceptable.”

The school district issued a statement that said:

The district was very recently made aware of these images of a district employee at a non-school related event, and an internal investigation is currently ongoing. The board does not condone the insensitivity these images depict and is very disappointed something like this is now connected to our school community.

The district strives to provide a quality education enriched by our diverse community, in a fair and supportive environment for all. The images run counter to the respect, values, and beliefs the district promotes and should not be a reflection on the District as a whole.

This situation is not taken lightly by any member of the board. The district will determine how to best address the matter after further investigation.

Megan Luloff has not responded to statement requests.