A preschool in Massachusetts has closed after a teacher conducted an activity involving blackface to celebrate Black History Month.
In a statement posted to Facebook on Feb. 13, the ICKids preschool in Newton, Mass. said that a teacher "planned and carried out an activity that involved black mask/face" to celebrate Black History Month on Feb. 8.
The preschool said that the staff member who "planned and executed" the activity has been fired.
According to the post, the preschool is closing because of protests that could put "children at risk," and provided families with a list of other child care centers in the area.
"Considering of protests happening at the center that will put the children at risk, in the need, we are closing the ICKids daycare at this time. Families will be provided with a list of child care centers in the area so that they can immediately receive care for their child/children," the post states.
It's unclear if the preschool will reopen, but the post states that staff will be trained in "diversity and creating curriculum" in the event that it does reopen.
"In the event that we reopen our doors all staff will be trained in Diversity and creating curriculum for the birth to 5-year-old age group. We would also aim high for a more diverse staff with strong child care background knowledge and experience," the post states.
The post states that one parent "pointed out" that blackface is offensive, and the teacher apologized.
In the statement, ICKids said that the staff member who was involved in the blackface activity "did not execute" the curriculum correctly.
One parent, Nadirah Pierce, told NBC10 Boston that the situation is unacceptable.
"This is unacceptable and don’t really understand the concept of this project," Pierce said. "The apology received was empty and then to go onto Facebook and see that apology was disheartening."
The Associated Press contributed to this report