Two of the girls in the video that began circulating online on Tuesday attend Saint Hubert Catholic High School for Girls, according to Kenneth A. Gavin, the chief communications officer for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. A third girl in the video is not a student there, he said.
“We will not disclose finite details of individual disciplinary actions but the level of behavior calls for a minimum of suspension and counseling and a maximum of expulsion,” Gavin told CNN in an email Wednesday.In a statement released Wednesday, Franklin Towne Charter High School said the former student who participated in the video or any other students who exhibit such conduct “have no place at our school.”
“The content of this video does not reflect the values and culture of our Towne family,” the school said on it website. It’s unclear whether the former student was enrolled at the time of the video recording.
A Black parent whose daughter attends the Catholic school told CNN the video was sent directly to his daughter and niece as well as other Black students.
When asked whether the video was initially sent to Black students at the school, Gavin told CNN, “At this time it is unknown as to the exact distribution. My understanding is that it was posted and shared on social media.”
Saint Hubert Catholic High School serves roughly 500 students grades 9 through 12 while nearly 1,300 students attend Franklin Towne Charter High School, their respective data shows. Both schools are majority white, the data shows.In the video, a girl is seen using black spray paint to color the face of another girl as she says, “You’re a Black girl! You know your roots! It’s February! You’re nothing but a slave… and after this she’s doing my laundry.”
People in the video can be heard laughing as this occurs. One person is seen filming the incident on her phone. The girl who had her face painted black says, “I’m Black and I’m proud.”
The video was taken outside of school and after school hours, a Wednesday statement provided to CNN by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia said.
“We recognize and understand that the actions of these students have reopened societal wounds in a deeply painful way. Those allegedly responsible are not present in school and are being disciplined appropriately,” the archdiocese said.
The archdiocese added the school and the Office of Catholic Education are conducting a review into the incident. “Should that process determine involvement by any other students, they will also face disciplinary action,” the statement said.
Footage shot by CNN affiliate KYW showed parents and activists protesting outside Saint Hubert Catholic High School for Girls on Wednesday holding signs that read, “No More Racism” and “Hate Hurts.”Catherine Hicks, president of the Philadelphia branch of the NAACP, expressed in a statement Wednesday her strong disappointment in the video and called on the school to “ensure action takes place immediately.”
“It is extremely disheartening to have to address this, especially during the observance of Black History Month, that honors the accomplishments and rich history of black people,” the statement said.