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NY school district investigates racist art featuring LeBron James


Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images

A racist cereal box in a school art exhibit is being investigated by a New York school district.

The cereal box and poster were created by a student in a junior high art class in the New Hartford Central School District, according to WIBX.

The cereal box featured an image of a monkey and a bowl of cereal. It was meant to be a parody of a cereal advertisement called “Monkey Premium.”

A poster featured James in his Lakers uniform alongside the words “Eat monkeys, jump like monkeys! Monkey premium cereal.”

In smaller text, the ad promises that the cereal “makes you jump 2-5 inches higher for about 2 hours after eaten.”

The art exhibit was held in a school gym as part of the New Hartford Festival of the Arts. New Hartford is about 250 miles north of New York City.

Black residents whose children attend school in upstate New York were offended by the art project.

Stephanie Holland wrote in an op-ed for theroot.com: “This begs the question of how an image that is so openly racist—there’s so subtlety here—made it past various teachers, administrators and parents to be displayed to the public?”

“It is disheartening that racist work was not only created, but then overlooked and allowed to be displayed,” Superintendent of Schools Cosimo Tangorra Jr. wrote in a letter to the community.

“We understand that there are students, families, staff and community members who may not feel safe, accepted or welcome as a result of what transpired. Our school community deserves access to a supportive learning environment where everyone feels respected, included and safe.

“We have fallen short of that goal, and we must do better. As a district, we will continue working to ensure all students and their families feel valued, and it requires increased education, dialogue, and action from the entire school community.”

Tangorra continued: “The student involved has been contacted, but due to student privacy, we cannot divulge specific details regarding the student and whether or not there were disciplinary consequences. Administrators have also spoken with staff members responsible for the oversight of the artwork, and we are using this as a teachable moment.”



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