Teens, expelled from school for 'blackface', get more than Rs 8 crore compensation. What's the matter?

Webdunia News Desk

Friday, 10 May 2024 (18:17 IST)
Two teenagers, who were expelled from an elite California Catholic school while falsely accused of wearing blackface, have been jointly awarded more than $1 million after successfully proving that it a green acne face mask.

The incident dates back to 2017 when the then-14-year-old students of Saint Francis High School in Mountain View took a selfie during a sleepover wearing a light green acne treatment mask in solidarity with a friend suffering from severe acne.

The face mask, bought by one of the boy’s mums, was light green when applied and turned dark green once dry.

Their “innocent” selfie went viral three years later amid the intense Black Lives Matter protests following the death of George Floyd.

The controversy led to their expulsion from the school in 2020, sparking a legal battle that culminated in a landmark decision by a Santa Clara County jury this week.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the jury found that the school breached an oral contract and failed to provide due process before expelling the students.

The teens, identified in court documents as A.H. and H.H., were granted $500,000 each in compensation and will also receive reimbursement for the $70,000 tuition fees.

What is blackface and what's the controversy?

Blackface word is used to refer to the practice of wearing make-up to imitate the appearance of a black person. The use of such make-up was associated with minstrel shows in the United States from the 1830s until the mid 20th century; it is now regarded as highly offensive.

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