DAVENPORT, Iowa — A first-grade teacher in Davenport has apologized for wearing “blackface” at a Halloween party.
Megan Luloff and her family have received death threats since the October 19th party at the Walcott American Legion, according to her attorney, Catherine Cartee.
Cartee said Luloff dressed up with a group of people as characters from the movie Napoleon Dynamite. Luloff’s character was “Lafawndah,” who was a standout African-American woman in the movie.
“In an effort to complete her costume Megan used a dark foundation to enhance her pigmentation to create the likeness of Lafawndah,” said Cartee. Cartee said Luloff did not “intend to mock the character’s ethnicity or take any action intended to be offensive to anyone.”
After receiving backlash from the costume, Luloff researched the history of blackface to better understand why people were offended, according to Cartee.
“(Luloff) immediately understood the anger and outrage,” said Cartee. Luloff cooperated with an investigation by the Davenport School District.
Cartee added that Luloff has a son with albinism, and she “has often experienced stares, mocking, and ridicule on behalf of her child’s appearance…” giving her first-hand experience with “how sensitive feelings about appearance can be.”
“She will be eternally sorry for her lapse in judgement and will have to live with this forever,” said her attorney’s statement.
Going forward, Luloff plans to use this experience as a learning tool, said Cartee.