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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

$1 million for boys kicked out of high school for greenface photo


Two 14-year-old boys were kicked out of their Catholic high school in 2020, because a three-year-old photo of them in green acne masks was interpreted as "blackface." The day before, they'd posted a photo in a white acne mask.


A jury has ordered St. Francis High School in Mountain View, California to pay $1 million -- $500,000 each -- to the two former students and reimburse $70,000 in tuition. (My husband's three children are St. Francis grads.) The jury found the school had failed to do a proper investigation.


Parents of one of the boys claim the principal told them their removal was due to "optics" in the wake of George Floyd's death a week earlier rather than "intent."


According to the lawsuit, the high school supported a protest calling for the boys' expulsion on grounds they dressed up in blackface as a joke.

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6 Comments


Mike Petrik
Mike Petrik
May 10

This is a private school, and it is entirely appropriate to consider out-of-school behavior, especially if egregious. But there is no excuse for the appalling rush to judgment.

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JK Brown
JK Brown
May 09

Sounds like this won't be enough to put the school out of business. But perhaps they'll have to delay the new whatever.

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Bill Parker
Bill Parker
May 09

I suspect the school learned (or perhaps NOT) a valuable lesson about doing a proper investigation before actually accusing people of anything (there are always three sides to

any story, what one side claims, what the other side claims, and what ACTUALLY happened).

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Jim Daniels
Jim Daniels
May 09
Replying to

They should make the administration watch Rashomon.

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Darren Miller
Darren Miller
May 09

Judgements will continue to go against schools as long as they focus on out-of-school behaviors and not what happens at school during school hours.

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Jim Daniels
Jim Daniels
May 09
Replying to

And also rushing to judgement based on the trendy buzz of the braying mob, e.g. "GET THE 'RACISTS!'"

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