Teacher Placed On Leave After She Wore A Scooby-Doo Costume To An Elementary School Halloween Parade

Her costume angered many parents and school administrators who claimed that it was highly offensive.

teacher and kids dressed as pirate, witches and vampire having fun Halloween class and cutting out paper Studio Romantic / Shutterstock

An elementary school teacher was heavily reprimanded after school administrators and parents found an issue with the costume she wore to a school's Halloween parade. The unnamed teacher was said to have offended others at the parade after showing up in a costume that may have caused underlying social issues.

The teacher was put on leave after wearing a Scooby-Doo costume to her school's Halloween parade.

According to NBC Bay Area, a teacher from Sutter Elementary School in Antioch, California was placed on administrative leave after donning a Scooby-Doo costume to the school's parade. The teacher had painted her face dark to represent the nighttime, as well as wearing a green moon over her head.


On her body, she wore a box to represent the blue, green, and orange minivan that Scooby-Doo and the mystery-solving gang drive around in on their missions.

To the teacher, it seemed like an innocent enough costume, but her choice of makeup didn't bode well with parents at the parade, who accused her of wearing blackface and not taking into account the deep-rooted history that has in the United States.

RELATED: 'Concerned Resident' Urges Neighbor To Reconsider Their Halloween Decorations — 'Some Of Us Dread Walking By Your House'


Antonio Hernadez, a member of the school board, confirmed with NBC Bay Area that after receiving multiple complaints from parents about the teacher's Halloween costume, the administration had no choice but to take the appropriate action.

"We know that there’s a long cultural, historical background to people putting dark makeup on, and there’s a lot of context there that we know is harmful to particular students of color and very particular to the Black community," Hernadez told the news outlet.

"Regardless of what the intention was, we know what kind of feelings that image can provoke in parents, students, and in the community."

Some parents attempted to defend the teacher's Halloween costume, while others acknowledged that there's no excuse for having such a controversial costume.

While speaking with NBC Bay Area, several parents attempted to defend the unnamed elementary school teacher and argued that there was no ill intent behind the costume at all. "She didn't mean any harm, and I know her personally, and I don't think she would ever mean any harm in that way," a parent named Jordyn Papagni said.


Another parent who didn't want to be identified added, "It was a Scooby-Doo costume, so when I saw it I didn't think twice about her trying to make fun or be racist toward Black people. I just thought it was a costume."

RELATED: Mom Shares How Kids Today Are So Different From Previous Generations — 'These Trick-Or-Treaters Are Like Little Old People Ready To Go Home'

However, Hernadez maintained that it was the right decision to place the teacher on leave, explaining that the concern was warranted and the district would be conducting an investigation during this time. "Regardless of what the costume was — any black painted face really has such a strong ability to be very offensive, and very harmful to Black communities and communities of color," he said.



The city's mayor pro tem, Tamisha Torres-Walker, also agreed with the school's choice in punishment and acknowledged that the teacher's costume is the failure of the district to address racial disparity. "I get the intent, but the impact really devastated community members in a way where a lot of questions are being asked about who did she consult with before moving forward with what we all saw as blackface," Torres-Walker said.


"This incident is just an example of how the district has not addressed issues around culture because this teacher should have absolutely known whether it's harmful or not that blackface is unacceptable."

Blackface has a deeply troubling and hurtful history in the United States. Its history is deeply woven with the realities of systemic racism and discrimination that the Black community has faced for the last four centuries.

While Halloween is the one time a year when everyone is allowed the freedom to dress up how they choose, there should never be a need for such an offensive portrayal, even if the intentions were not malicious.


RELATED: Ring Camera Catches Three Moms Stealing All The Halloween Candy From A Family’s Doorstep — But A Neighbor Who Saw It Steps In

Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.