A picture of Ted Bonner’s Halloween costume began to circulate around social media last week and upset many of the people who saw it. The pictures show Bonner’s face almost completely covered in black while his red-colored lips hide his fake gnarly smile. He’s also holding a sign that says “Black Lives Matter.” The blackface costume was blatantly offensive. 

In many instances like this, the person in the photo would’ve been asked to resign from their job or kicked out of their school. But Bonner’s situation is unique in that no one is in power to force any discipline.

Bonner is actually on the Arkansas school board, which he was granted after winning an election.

“I’m really embarrassed about the whole situation,” Blevins School Superintendent Billy Lee told The Washington Post.

“He’s actually my boss,” Lee said. “Neither the school board nor the administration holds the power to discipline or remove a school board member. Only the voters have the power during the next school board election.”

Bonner is up for election in 2018.

He went on to explain that Bonner gave a “very sincere apology” at the latest school board meeting in Blevins, a town of 315 people that’s 17 percent black.

“Number one, it’s appalling,” said parent Faye Smith, according to Arkansas Matters. “Number two, it’s inappropriate for a school board member to disrespect students that he’s over, who are black.”

“Why is that every time you make a joke, it’s blackface?” said Smith. “Why is blackface funny? We have a whole race of people who don’t think looking in the mirror is a joke.”

Photo Credit: Twitter