The white headmaster of the New York Catholic School forced a black student to kneel and apologize to his teacher
Time and again we’ve seen educators show all their asses when it comes to doing the bare minimum to avoid being racist. A white headmaster at a Catholic school in Long Island is on vacation after forcing a black student to kneel and apologize to his teacher.
According to the Washington Post, John Holian, principal of St. Martin de Porres Marianist School, was confronted by Trisha Paul earlier this month after her son Trayson told her about what he had seen at school. Trayson told his mother that he had already been working on a written assignment while the rest of the class was still doing a reading assignment.
His teacher responded by tearing up his worksheet in front of the class and then having the audacity to tell Trayson that he was the distraction. Maybe it’s just me, but a teacher putting on a big show punishing a student for working on a task is infinitely more distracting than a kid doing a task quietly.
The teacher then took Trayson to Holian’s office, who requested that he kneel in front of the teacher and apologize to her. Paul was concerned about what her son had told her and when she asked Holian about the incident over the phone, he admitted what had happened and said he got the idea from a Nigerian father who had a similar one Form of discipline applied to his son.
“When he finished telling this story, I was just amazed on the phone,” Paul, a Haitian American, told the Washington Post. “My child is not a Nigerian. We don’t share the same cultures or beliefs. You assume that because my child is black, he has to kneel down too. “
The story goes on
From the Washington Post:
“He admitted that he asked him to kneel,” Paul said. “He didn’t acknowledge what was wrong or how I was feeling. … He wasn’t repentant or apologetic at all. “
On March 4th, Paul met with Holian in his office. According to Paul, the headmaster repeated the story about the Nigerian parents, adding, “He felt that if he had stood up to apologize, it wouldn’t have been real.”
Paul wasn’t convinced by Holian’s arguments. “This incident only happened because my son is black,” said Paul.
The incident had a lasting impact on her son, said Paul. At first he repeatedly asked questions like, “Why me?” and “Why do some people treat me differently because I’m black?” but then it became reserved and calm. In early March, she put him on distance learning instead of sending him back to class.
“He’s just hurt and humiliated,” said Paul.
In addition to being a racist, Holian ignored an important aspect of the story he was telling: it was the boy’s father who used this form of discipline. Neither Holian nor Trayson are Nigerians, and Holian is not this boy’s father.
While Holian has been on leave pending an investigation, there is no word on what disciplinary action the teacher has faced. The way I see it, she’s just as responsible for what happened to Trayson, as it doesn’t sound like she pushed back against Holian and suggested that Trayson kneel.
“In other schools, when they are disciplined, it’s imprisonment, there’s extra homework, there are other ways to discipline a child. But to humiliate a child, to humiliate him because he is just a black boy, makes no sense, “Paul told the Post.
Assistant Principal James Conway emailed the parents condemning Holian’s actions.
“I want to assure you that St. Martin does not approve or accept our headmaster’s actions,” Conway wrote in the email. “The incident does not reflect our long, established values or the established protocols regarding student issues.”
Paul has hired a lawyer and is currently considering whether or not to send Trayson back to school. While she would love to see Holian fired and faculty under racist awareness training, she ultimately feels that the damage has been done regarding Trayson.
“As great as an apology would be, I don’t think it would wipe out the effects on my child,” Paul told the Post.