Tuesday, June 18, 2024

‘Blackface’ California High Schoolers Awarded $1 Million | VIDEO

*Two former Saint Francis High School (SFHS) students in California who were once forced to withdraw from school in 2020 for wearing acne masks (thought to be Blackface) have been awarded $1 million and tuition reimbursement.

During the heated Black Lives Matter movement of 2020, amid “a series of racially charged scandals perpetrated by a few SFHS students and/or recent alumni” plagued the SFHS community, a picture of the two students wearing acne masks was widely circulated in June and caused a backlash.

In the heat of the moment, the school officials and community members interpreted the acne masks as “blackface,” according to the suit filed against the school. The picture in question was taken in 2017, long before the Black Lives Matter movement, reports Yahoo News.

The students, (who go by Hughes and A.H.) are now 21 years of age and were at that time termed the “poster children of racism.”

Blackface students / via Superior Court of California
Blackface students

In a statement, Krista Lee Baughman, the former student’s attorney, said the case is significant not only for its groundbreaking effect on all private high schools in California, which are now legally required to provide fair procedure to students before punishing or expelling them.

“The jury rightly confirmed that St. Francis High School’s procedures were unfair to our clients and that the school is not above the law,” Baughman added.

After the boys were forced out of the SFHS, they sued its president and a parent of one of the students there for breach of contract, defamation, and violation of two other legal rights.

According to the complaint, “(Hughes and A.H.) had absolutely nothing to do with these horrible acts of racism. And yet, (SFHS and other defendants named in the suit) took it upon themselves to use the innocent and wholly unrelated photograph of the boys to make the malicious and utterly false accusation that the boys had been engaging in ‘blackface,’ and to recklessly assert that the photograph was ‘another example’ of racism at SFHS.”

On May 6, their spirited legal fight paid off when the jury awarded each of them $500,000 and tuition reimbursement, which totaled about $70,000.

Here is the story behind the story: according to the lawsuit, in August 2017, one of the two boys – 14 years old at that time – had “adolescent acne.” His mother advised him to apply white-colored acne facemasks to his face. This he did, together with his other friend. The two boys decided they looked silly with the facemasks, so they “took a time-stamped photograph of themselves in the masks.”

The next day — according to the complaint — the boys managed to convince yet another 14-year-old friend, Holden Hughes, to join them in putting on face masks. However, this time they applied “light green in color.”

Once Hughes applied the green facemasks, he and one of the two boys identified only as A.H. took “silly photographs” once more. When they took these pictures, the acne facemasks had turned “dark green by the time it dried on their faces,” and so the students were thought to be wearing blackface.

According to Baughman, Hughes has been mentioned by name because he agreed to let his name go public. The other boy preferred to remain anonymous.

MORE NEWS ON EURWEB.COM: Mom Set Fire to Teen Daughter She Blamed for Boyfriend’s Abuse

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