Students ‘no longer members’ of Catholic school after racist video
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Catholic high school in Philadelphia says students responsible for a racist video that showed teenage white girls in blackface are “no longer members of this school community.”
The video circulated on social media and sparked a protest a week ago at St. Hubert Catholic High School for Girls. The protesters included parents of two former students who told The Philadelphia Inquirer their children faced a hostile and unwelcoming climate because they were Black.
The video showed several white teen girls, with one spray-painting the face of another with a dark color and yelling “Know your roots!” and “It’s February!” and “You’re nothing but a slave.” The girl with the blackface then declares: “I’m Black and I’m proud!” Other girls present laugh throughout the video.
“The severity of the situation at hand demanded and the repugnant nature of the behavior on the part of some of our students demanded that we swiftly conduct a thorough investigation.”
“The severity of the situation at hand demanded and the repugnant nature of the behavior on the part of some of our students demanded that we swiftly conduct a thorough investigation,” St. Hubert’s officials said in a statement. “As a result, the young women ... responsible for this situation have been identified and they are no longer members of this school community.”
Officials at the school and the archdiocese of Philadelphia didn’t say whether the students had been expelled or were asked to withdraw. Those identified as participating did face suspensions before the investigation concluded, archdiocese spokesperson Ken Gavin told the Inquirer.
The school had said earlier that two girls were “no longer present” at the school and were being disciplined. The school switched last week to flexible instruction, with students completing coursework at home, after unspecified threats and canceled extracurricular activities. Students returned to in-person instruction Monday.
St. Hubert’s plans schoolwide anti-bias workshops with the Anti-Defamation League and says it will also work with the Office for Black Catholics and the Archbishop’s Commission on Racial Healing to create new school programs focused on “dialogue and prayer to address racism and provide restorative resources,” the Inquirer said.