Birmingham, AL — The mother of Amonn Jackson, a 7-year old Black student from Alabama, is upset that her son came home with what appeared to be a gunshot wound on his forehead. Apparently, one of his teachers painted it during his drama class.
“It looked so real in person, that it looked like something happened,” Zakiya Milhouse, the boy’s mother, told AL.com. “It was supposed to be a gunshot wound. That’s when I got upset. A gunshot wound.”
Jackson is a 2nd-grade student at Phillips Academy in Birmingham. His mother strongly feels that putting makeup to make a fake bullet wound was inappropriate to be included in the lessons.
“This actually happens to our black young men,” she said. “If you saw it in person, it looked real.”
His mom took a photo of her son and shared it on Facebook. The principal then called her to apologize and said that it was indeed “unacceptable.”
The teacher who put the makeup also spoke with her. She said, “He didn’t think it was a real big deal. He said he did paint on different kids, such as black eyes. He said was going to take it out of his lesson plan.”
Milhouse stated that even though she actually filled out the permission forms that the teacher sent out to the parents to ask permission to put makeup on the students, painting a bullet wound on her son’s forehead was “too much,” she said.
Meanwhile, Birmingham City Schools claimed that the students were not forced to participate and they had the option to have the makeup on their hands or faces, and Jackson chose his face.
They said the teacher also assured that there was no malice behind the depiction and the only aim in teaching makeup techniques during the theater class unit on stage, film, and special effects was to help the students appreciate and understand the technical elements of performing arts.
Moreover, Birmingham City Schools said in a statement, “As a culturally responsive school system, Birmingham City Schools takes issues like this very seriously and does not condone the graphic nature of this lesson on special effects. We regret any issues and perceptions this incident may have caused, and this portion of the lesson will be removed from the unit.”