Four students at a Long Island Catholic school have been expelled this week for two separate, equally stupid racial incidents. It started with two senior boys, as it often does, who decided it would be cool to bring a confederate flag to a handball game in which one team was mostly white and the other mostly black. (Out of St. Anthony’s 2,450 students, about 1,800 are white and 138 are black.) After they were suspended last week, punishment was bumped up to expulsion, and a letter went out to parents, two sophomore girls followed up by posting blackface photos and “racially inflammatory language” on social media.
“The African-American students who immediately saw it really exercised heroic restraint, and fortunately a teacher immediately confiscated the flag and took the students out of the gym,” said Principal Brother Gary Cregan of the first screw-up. “I find it just very hard to even imagine why any student in 2014 would even consider or think that a Confederate flag would be anything other than a symbol of hate.”
“I had hoped, perhaps naively, that we would be able at a given point to reasonably sit down, but the emotions are still very high,” he added. “You can feel the mood in the building. The mood is not a pleasant mood. It’s a tense mood.” Summer can’t come soon enough.