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Catholic High School Set to Pay $1 Million to White Students It Expelled for “Blackface”

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Catholic High School Set to Pay $1 Million to White Students It Expelled for “Blackface”
Source: Pinterest

Catholic High School Set to Pay $1 Million to White Students It Expelled for “Blackface”

Source: Pinterest

In an elite Catholic California high school, two white students were expelled after the school found out and accused them of doing the controversial “blackface” to mock the blacks.

This incident occurred in 2017 and resurfaced in 2020 amid the Black Lives Matter protests. The two white students sued the high school and eventually won the case. It turns out that the said “blackface” did not show any form of mockery against the blacks. Hence, the court ruled in their favor.

Fight Against Acne Not Blacks

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This incident, which dates back to 2017, saw the white boys wearing blackface in a selfie photo. However, the boys claimed they wore a face mask to fight acne. 

When it happened, the boys were just 14 years old. They claimed they applied a face mask on their faces, which was light green when they first used it, but it gradually turned dark green.

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The Picture Resurfaced in 2020

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The boys took a selfie in the face mask and innocently posted it on social media. They posted the picture back in 2017. This is what many teenagers would do for fun. 

The picture that was posted about three years back resurfaced again in 2020 following the death of George Floyd, which led to a campaign for Black Lives Matter, and the boys were expelled for “blackface.” 

The School Acted Against the Boys

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The photo that resurfaced in 2020 immediately sparked public interest, and people expressed displeasure about it. The parents and students of Saint Francis High School informed the school and demanded that the school take action. 

The school also didn’t take it lightly. They gave the boys two complex options: either withdraw from the school or be forced to expel them. The school eventually decided to expel them. 

Saint Francis High School Was Sued

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Following the event that led to the white students getting expelled, Saint Francis High School was sued. The jury found the school guilty of two of the five claims against it. 

It appeared that the school was found guilty of not conducting a proper investigation before swiftly taking action against the boys and of breaching an oral contract.

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The Parents of the White Students Fought Back

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The parents of the white students believed it was wrong to have expelled their children without conducting a proper investigation. Hence, they sued the school for $20 million. 

The judge ruled in favor of the boys and cleared them of wrongdoing. The judge also slammed the school with 1 million dollars for damages. This money is to be paid to the two students in $500,000 each. 

The School Is Also Expected To Pay Back Tuition Fees

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In addition to the fine, the school was also asked to pay back the students’ tuition fees. The calculation of the tuition fees expected to be paid back to the boy’s parents amounts to $70,000, as the students lost out on a lot after being wrongfully accused and expelled from the school. 

A Philadelphia Catholic High School Has Had the Same Problem With Blackface

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The issue of blackface once happened in a Catholic school in Philadelphia, where some students were found guilty of blackface and expelled. 

St. Hubert Catholic High School investigated after discovering that some students were guilty of wearing blackface and posting it on their social media. 

Proper Investigation Before Taking a Decision

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The Saint Francis Catholic High School was found guilty of improper investigation before taking drastic action against the boys. The jury’s verdict indicates that public pressure shouldn’t impede investigations before judgment. 

Also, the judge’s decision points out that all private high schools in California should always conduct fair procedures for their students before taking necessary action against them.

The School Plans To Appeal

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Saint Francis Catholic High School seems dissatisfied with the judge’s ruling and has sought a way to appeal the case. 

The school believes that no legal basis applies to high schools regarding the fairness of the disciplinary review process and hopes that the ruling will be reversed.

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Fight Against Racism in Saint Francis High School

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In the past, the school has been accused of encouraging racism. Another case of blackface occurred when the school expelled the boys. 

It was alleged that some students who graduated from the school in 2020 shared memes about George Floyd’s death on Instagram. These made the school take action against any form of racism. 

Worrisome About Public Image

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The white boys accused of racism over the blackface picture noted that there was worry about their public image and how it would potentially haunt them for the rest of their lives. 

Fortunately for them, they were able to get justice as the basis on which they posted the pictures wasn’t to encourage racism or mock Black people. 

What Is Blackface?

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It is important to understand what the word “blackface” means. This is a situation whereby an individual who is not a black person chooses to apply black makeup or material on their skin to make a mockery of black people. 

This dates back to the 19th century when there was huge racism against black people. The blacks during this period were less valued and were constantly mocked by white performers, who would wear black makeup and engage in dehumanizing African American culture. 

 

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