A B.C. educator has expressed deep sorrow over an incident that occurred nearly 13 years ago.
Jon Bonnar was vice principal of Langley Fine Arts School at the time when he wore blackface and a black curly wig on Halloween.
He informed parents in a letter that he and the then principal, a person of colour, chose to dress up as one another—and it was recorded in the yearbook.
"This happened and it never should have," Bonnar wrote. "It was wrong. I understand how offensive it is to appear in blackface, and how it diminishes and demeans members of our black community.
"I also recognize that it is just one symbol of a long history of racism throughout our society," he added. "I take responsibility for my action, recognizing I come from a privileged position in our society and that as a Caucasian person in a position of authority I should never have put myself in this position."
Bonnar also write that he's "committed to unlearning and learning and being better".
"I know this apology letter to the community is only the first step I need to take."
The superintendent of the Langley school district, Gord Stewart, has issued a statement saying the incident should never have occurred.
"Regardless of the principal dressing up in whiteface, that is no excuse," Stewart wrote. "Dressing in whiteface does not carry the same history, emotion, and racist connotations as blackface. On behalf of the Langley School District, I unreservedly apologize to our entire school community, but particularly those that are marginalized and face challenges that those raised in privileged environments do not."