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School to apologize for black-themed masks

NEW ALBANY, Ind. – Southern Indiana school officials plan to apologize to a middle school for masks students at a largely white school wore to a basketball game.

A handful of students at the district’s mostly white Highland Hills Middle School wore black masks, including a gorilla mask, black nylon masks and one featuring President Barack Obama’s likeness, to a Feb. 7 eight-grade basketball game between the schools.

The News and Tribune reported that several students wore costumes and masks as part of a school-spirit theme. They had been encouraged to wear other colors on other days, and that black was the theme color of that day, according to the story.

Three New Albany-Floyd County Consolidated School Corp. officials said Monday they’ll write a letter of apology to Parkview Middle School for the costumes.

The parents of some students at Parkview, a Jeffersonville middle school with several black students and basketball players, questioned if racism was involved.

New Albany’s NAACP branch President Nicole Yates said some of the masks have long been recognized as racial insults to blacks.