Students from 2 Philadelphia schools recorded using racist language in social media video
PHILADELPHIA - Two Philadelphia schools are embroiled in controversy after students were seen in a social media video using racist language.
FOX 29 is not showing the video, but it allegedly shows students making racist comments and spraying something on another girl whose face is painted black.
Saint Hubert Catholic High School for Girls confirmed three of their students were involved in the video.
The school released a statement to the community, saying, "Earlier today, it came to our attention that a handful of our students posted images and videos on a social media platform of a racially charged nature. As a Catholic educational institution that seeks to form Women of Faith and Integrity, we view racism as a mortal sin. There is no place for it in our hearts and minds there is no tolerance for such behavior at Saint Hubert's. We are extremely disappointed to learn that anyone associated with Saint Hubert's would act in such a manner, which is entirely inconsistent with our values."
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The school also says the issue is being investigated, and the students involved will be disciplined in accordance with the school handbook.
The Archdiocese of Philadelphia also released a statement, saying, "Earlier this afternoon, it came to the attention of Saint Hubert School administration that a handful of its students posted images and videos on a social media platform of a racially charged nature. Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia seek to form young men and women of character. We view racism as a mortal sin. There is no place for it in our hearts and minds and there is no tolerance for such behavior at Saint Hubert's or any Catholic School."
Franklin Towne Charter High School also was the second school with students involved and released the following statement:
"The Franklin Towne Community is both saddened and appalled by the events surrounding the racist video that has been seen on social media. We want to again take this opportunity to condemn this type of hateful behavior and condemn anyone involved in it. Franklin Towne is a school that values inclusion and will not tolerate hate in any manner. The former student who took part in this video and any other students who may choose to participate in this type of behavior have no place at our school. The content of this video does not reflect the values and culture of our Towne family."
Franklin Towne officials did not specify how many of their students or former students were involved in the video.
On Wednesday morning, anti-racism protesters gathered outside the school to protest the incident.
The Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, the state's civil rights enforcement agency, says it was made aware of the incident and called it both "unacceptable and offensive."
"While I was pleased to see an immediate response from the school saying they will investigate, it is imperative that they take appropriate action to ensure that students know the racist background of ‘blackface.’"
The agency also offered to provide bias and cultural sensitivity training to staff and students.