Like many high schools, Guilderland High School hosts theme nights at its football games to promote school spirit among students. Examples of past themes have been for students to wear all pink or camouflage.
On Friday, October 14, the theme at the GHS football game was “black out”; students were encouraged to dress in black clothes. Some students in attendance also painted their faces black. When this came to the attention of building administrators on duty at the game, the students were immediately asked to leave the bleacher area and were directed to the restrooms to wash off the face paint. Their actions were promptly addressed by building administrators on site as well as at school on Monday, October 17.
The Guilderland Central School District acknowledges how upsetting it was to see students dressed in this manner and does not tolerate any degree of discriminatory or derogatory behavior, as outlined in the district’s code of conduct and the Guilderland High School student handbook. This is a school matter that will be addressed by the district and GHS administration.
On Monday, October 17, students gathered in protest outside of Guilderland High School to air their concerns surrounding the incident and to advocate for a climate and culture that affirms and acknowledges each and every GHS student of color.