The families of two teens who were forced out of a California school after using green acne cream on their faces are suing the exclusive Catholic school.
As The San Francisco Chronicle reported, Mountain View’s St Francis High School told two teenage boys, identified as A. H. and H. H., to leave the school voluntarily or face expulsion after they were accused of posing for a blackface photo together with another teen who went to a different school.
Now, after the two teens left the school based on an ultimatum they were confronted with, their families have launched a lawsuit to clear their names and seek $20 million in damages.
According to the two families, the two teenagers who were forced out of the Catholic school never engaged in ‘blackface’ but merely posed for a photo with green acne medication on their faces.
The picture, which was taken back in 2017, shows three teenagers wearing dark green masks that they allegedly used to counter acne. The families also showed another photo in which the teens are seen wearing a white mask. That picture was allegedly taken just a day before the one with the green mask.
As the families insisted in the lawsuit, the old photo was “plucked from obscurity and grossly mischaracterized” whereas the officials at the school the teens were attending “seemed to have no interest in entertaining the truth.”
“This lawsuit is our attempt to redeem our names and reputations, and to correct the record to reflect the truth of what actually happened,” the families’ statement reads.
“A photograph of this innocent event was plucked from obscurity and grossly mischaracterized during the height of nationwide social unrest.
“In conjunction with the school and the community, our families sought to be a part of a solution to this obvious misunderstanding, so that the entire (Saint Francis) community could get to a better place, and we were rebuffed by SFHS and its leadership, who seemed to have no interest in entertaining the truth.”
According to the suit, the St Francis High School failed to recognize “the true facts and context” surrounding the photo while attempting to appear as if they were fighting racism amid nationwide protests following George Floyd’s death last year.
“At no time did the boys engage in ‘blackface’, nor did they intend to do so or mimic doing so. Neither A.H. nor H.H. had even been aware of the term ‘blackface’, let alone what it meant or signified,” the document reads.
“In defendants’ hurried attempt to ensure their perception as social justice warriors in the face of an unfolding scandal, and without any efforts to ascertain the true state of affairs, defendants pointed to 3-year-old photograph of plaintiffs that was taken entirely out of context, to falsely accuse plaintiffs of having committed an overt act of racism and to scapegoat them for the misconduct of other students.”
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