Two Teens Wrongfully Accused Of ‘Blackface’ Win Lawsuit

A jury in Northern California has awarded two former students of Saint Francis High School in Mountain View, California, with $1 million in damages and tuition reimbursements following allegations of unjust expulsion over perceived “blackface” photos.

The verdict, delivered on Monday, came in favor of the plaintiffs, citing the school’s breach of oral contract and failure to provide due process. Despite the students losing on three out of five claims, the jury’s decision marks a significant development, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

The Dhillon Law Group, representing the former students, celebrated the outcome as a landmark decision, underscoring its implications for all private high schools in California, mandating fair procedures in disciplinary actions.

The lawsuit stemmed from an incident in August 2017 when a student, identified as A.H., and others wore acne facemasks in a photo, which later circulated online. While the students claimed it was intended as a joke, accusations of blackface ensued, leading to controversy.

Following the incident, the school administrators reportedly presented the students with a choice: voluntary withdrawal or expulsion. This prompted legal action from the students and their families, initially seeking $20 million in damages.

The fallout from the ordeal had significant consequences, particularly for A.H., whose father, Frank Hughes, detailed the challenges his son faced in pursuing academic and athletic endeavors. Despite assurances from school officials, complications arose, leading to A.H.’s relocation to Utah to resume his football career.

While the jury’s decision was welcomed by the plaintiffs’ families, officials from Saint Francis High School contested aspects of the verdict, particularly regarding defamation and breach of contract claims. They maintained that the school did not infringe upon the students’ free speech rights.

In response, the Hughes family emphasized the toll the ordeal took on their sons and called for reforms within the school’s disciplinary processes to prevent similar injustices in the future.

As part of the verdict, the private school is required to reimburse the Hughes family for relocation expenses incurred due to the incident, adding a financial component to the resolution of this contentious matter.

Previous articleHouse Uncovers Widespread Government ‘Misconduct’ In Union Elections
Next articleNewton County Sheriff’s Department Faces Scrutiny After Prisoner Escape And Manhunt