New Jersey School Investigating Students’ Alleged Racist Halloween Costumes

Kristie Keleshian
November 06, 2019 - 5:31 pm
High school hallway

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WATCHUNG, N.J. (WCBS 880) — A New Jersey superintendent spoke to parents on Wednesday in response to an allegedly racist incident in which white students dressed up as a slave and slave owner for Halloween.

Watchung Hills High School students were allegedly photographed sometime around Halloween in racist costumes, according to WCBS 880’s Kristie Keleshian.

The photo, which has been widely shared on social media, showed one senior in blackface makeup and a black wig and another student in a cowboy hat, holding a whip. The photo, taken at an off-campus party, appeared to portray a white slave master and black slave.

The district school superintendent issued a letter Tuesday condemning the student's conduct.

"Although this incident occurred outside of school and the event was not affiliated with WHRHS, we are undertaking a thorough investigation into this matter, working closely with law enforcement," Superintendent of Schools Dr. Elizabeth Jewett wrote.

She added that the community “denounces this event” and “embraces diversity, equity and inclusion.”

Jewett told parents that students would be meeting in small groups to “unpack recent event and focus on the future.”

The school has been working closely with law enforcement to determine if any hate crimes were implicated.

The Watchung Hills Regional High School principal could not be reached for comment.