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Teens kicked out of elite Catholic school for ‘blackface’ awarded $1M by jury after proving it was just acne mask

Two teenagers kicked out of their elite California Catholic school whereas falsely accused of carrying blackface have been collectively awarded greater than $1 million after proving it was just a inexperienced acne face mask.

The then-students at Saint Francis High School in Mountain View had been just 14 once they took a photograph throughout a sleepover in 2017 of them carrying the remedy in solidarity with a good friend affected by extreme acne, their lawsuit stated.

The remedy, purchased by one of the boy’s mothers, was mild inexperienced when utilized and turned darkish inexperienced as soon as dry.

Three shirtless teens posing together while wearing green face masks, included in a lawsuit
Two teenagers kicked out of their California Catholic school received $1 million in a lawsuit. Superior Court of California

Their “innocent” selfie then went viral three years later when it was discovered and broadly shared throughout the top of the Black Lives Matter protests following the 2020 homicide of George Floyd.

A Santa Clara County jury agreed this week that the school breached an oral contract and didn’t give them due course of earlier than expelling them in 2020, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The college students, recognized solely as A.H. and H.H. within the lawsuit, had been awarded $500,000 every and can have their $70,000 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,” stated Krista Baughman, one of the attorneys for the scholars.

Screenshot of email exchange between members of St. Francis High School and parents of students involved in defamation case
The college students proved that they used a face mask for acne and didn’t do blackface. Superior Court of California

“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.”

In a press release, A.H.’s household stated: “We want to sincerely thank the jury and the court system for helping our boys and our families find justice, which now paves the way for their names to be cleared for things they never did.”

Exterior view of St Francis High School in Mountain View, California with a white truck parked in front
The St. Francis High School college students had been 14 when the photograph was taken. Hearst Newspapers by way of Getty Images

The lawsuit had initially sought $20 million. The jury rejected some of the boys’ claims, together with defamation and violation of free speech.

Representatives for the school stated they “respectfully disagree” with the jury’s resolution and are “exploring legal options,” together with an enchantment.

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