In September, 32 girls in Chicago went on a religious retreat together. By November, their text message chain was riddled with racial slurs that got five of them suspended or expelled from their high school
NBC News reports that the fathers of two of the teenagers (who are white) filed an anonymous lawsuit against Marist High School on Monday, claiming they were “labeled as racists and used as scapegoats by Marist to respond to an array of social media criticisms and media pressure” after screenshots of the racist conversation were circulated, sparking controversy at the school:
When Black Lives Matter protesters planned to demonstrate in the neighborhood after a black man was gunned down by an off-duty Chicago Police officer on Nov. 5, someone in the girls’ text conversation shared a tweet claiming protesters were going to bring along gang members to kill white residents in retaliation, the suit says.
The girls acknowledge in the suit that they made comments that “others believed to be racially insensitive.” Screenshots of the ensuing conversation, which the suit claims were “altered” by another participant, show one person saying “I F—— HATE N——” and another agreeing.
The plaintiffs allege that there was no formal expulsion process and also claim that they were told that anything shared on the religious retreat “would be strictly confidential,” which they seem to be suggesting applies to a text chain two months later.
The girls feel they were singled out, saying that the conversation held many other examples of similar racist language. The parents of the girls either want both of them to be reinstated in the private school or to receive $65,000 each for tuition. They’re also seeking $1 million for privacy invasion, saying the school allowed the girls’ names to be circulated on social media.