FACT CHECK: Student Outfits Part of Fan ‘Blackout’

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SOUTHSIDE, Ark — Cell phone footage taken of some Southside High School students at a basketball game in Southside Tuesday night is gaining some attention on social media.

The clips show several white students in the ‘student section’ of the home bleachers dressed in all black, with part of their face painted black.

The people who posted the recordings said they were sitting in bleachers across the floor from the students during the game and thought they were dressed in ‘black face,’ mocking the rival team.

The visiting team was from Riverview High School, whose roster of 12 players has some African-American players.

After a closer look at the video, several students can be seen wearing black face paint covering much of the bottom half of their face.

The SHS superintendent said students were participating in ‘blackout,’ urging fans to dress a bit like Johnny Cash in an attempt to create a camaraderie.  The superintendent notes the outfits were not intended to be racist. He sent us this picture that provides a better view of what the students were wearing.
 

According to the Arkansas Athletic Association (AAA), face paint that masks most of a students’ face during a sporting event is not permitted.

Officials said students are only allowed a small blotch of paint — a logo of some sort– on the side of either check.

AAA said any school found violating this rule will be talked to and reprimanded accordingly.

(kark.com is committed to providing trusted, factual information.  In the even incorrect stories or rumors are spread via social media or another source, kark.com will produce a “fact check” article detailing the correct information.)

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