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Screenshots: Teens Kicked Out Of Elite Catholic School For ‘Blackface’ – Get Awarded $1M By Jury After Providing The Receipts For The Masks

Two California teens who were forced to withdraw from an elite Catholic high school over accusations of blackface have been awarded $1 million and tuition reimbursement.

A Santa Clara County jury sided with the teens, identified by the initials A.H. and H.H., on two claims concerning breach of oral contract and lack of due process.

The boys sued Saint Francis High School in August 2020 after photos circulated of them sporting acne treatment masks.


The then-students at Saint Francis High School in Mountain View were just 14 when they took a photo during a sleepover in 2017 of them wearing the treatment in solidarity with a friend suffering from severe acne, their lawsuit said.

The treatment, bought by one of the boy’s moms, was light green when applied and turned dark green once dry.

Here’s the receipt that helped them get some justice:

A clear version:

Their “innocent” selfie then went viral three years later when it was found and widely shared during the height of the Black Lives Matter protests following the 2020 murder of George Floyd.

A Santa Clara County jury agreed this week that the school breached an oral contract and did not give them due process before expelling them in 2020, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The students, identified only as A.H. and H.H. in the lawsuit, were awarded $500,000 (A$757,000) each and will have their $70,000 (A$106,000) tuition reimbursed.

“This case is significant not only for our clients but 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,” said Krista Baughman, one of the attorneys for the students.

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

The teens lost on three other claims alleging breach of contract, defamation and a violation of free speech.

The plaintiffs initially sought $20 million when they filed suit in Santa Clara County Superior Court, three years after they and a friend – who attended another school and was not included in the lawsuit – snapped a selfie while donning acne treatment masks.

In the offending photo, the boys’ faces were covered in dark green medication. A photo taken a day earlier revealed that they had tried on white face masks as well.

According to documents reviewed by DailyMail.com, another SFHS student obtained a copy of the photograph from a friend’s Spotify account and uploaded it to a group chat in June 2020.

The photo resurfaced on the same day recent SFHS graduates created a meme pertaining to the murder of George Floyd, which sparked its own outrage and controversy.

The student insinuated that the teens were using ‘blackface’ and deemed the photo ‘another example’ of racist SFHS students, before urging everyone in the group chat to spread it throughout the school community.

On June 4, 2020, Dean of Students Ray Hisatake called the boys’ parents to ask them if they were aware of the photograph.

The parents asserted that the teens had applied green facemasks three years earlier, ‘with neither ill intent nor racist motivation, nor even knowledge of what “blackface” meant,’ according to the suit.
Less than four business hours later, Principal Katie Teekell called H.H’s parents and said the teen was ‘not welcomed back to SFHS.’

When the boy’s father reiterated that his son had not engaged in blackface, Teekell responded that her decision was not based on ‘intent,’ but ‘optics’ and ‘the harm done to the St. Francis community’.

Teekell said H.H. could choose to ‘voluntarily’ withdraw, rather than be expelled, with the incident scrubbed from his student record.

‘At no time did Ms. Teekell, or anyone else from the SFHS administration, offer to investigate the allegations against the boys, or assist in removing the Photograph in any way,’ the lawsuit asserts.

By June 17 the school’s attorney was telling the families the image’s ‘disrespect was so severe as to warrant immediate dismissal’.

The school then backed a protest by parents who used the image as evidence of ‘kids participating in black face (sic) and thinking that this is all a joke,’ according to a Facebook page.

The teens ultimately withdrew on June 19, but H.H. encountered a problem when he attempted to join the football team at his new school.

Despite Teekell’s promise, SFHS was required to disclose that he had switched schools to avoid disciplinary action. This would see him banned from playing sports for a year, per regional rules.