KATV reports that Blevins School Board member Ted Bonner, whose blackface getup and “Blak [sic] Lives Matter” sign at Halloween has drawn public protests, was given an Outstanding School Board Member award at a board meeting last night.

Attendance at the meeting was limited to 28 people, reportedly on orders of the fire marshal. School was dismissed early in Blevins, a small community near Hope, because of the School District’s fear of an NAACP protest of Bonner’s continued service and his defense of his costume.


At least one School Board member saw a deficiency in Bonner’s service:

Despite the award, board member Carl McGill said he still thinks Bonner needs to give an earnest apology to the community.

“Many people in the black community, the minority community, feel that he has not given an earnest apology. And what I was going to ask is that, if he would be willing to stand in front of the school, the whole school in the gym, and apologize to everyone in the whole community. I would ask that he really be willing do that and I think he would.”

About 80 of the 480 students being served in an outstanding manner by an unapologetic Bonner are black.


UPDATE: A further explanation of the award was provided to me from information at the Arkansas School Boards Association.

As explained to me:

Outstanding Board Member” is the lowest recognition level in the organization’s training incentive program for board members who have received 25 hours of our training on doing their jobs as board members. They get an enamel lapel pin sent to the district, and we suggest to all the districts that this to be presented to board members locally, at a board meeting.

This wasn’t any form of recognition that was generated or initiated by Blevins. It was a routine passing along of a routine and low level recognition by ASBA done in exactly the way suggested that it be done.