On February 25, the white headmaster of a Catholic school in New York forced a Black student to kneel while apologizing to a teacher, ABC News reported. He has since resigned.
John Holian, Headmaster of St. Martin de Porres Marianist school on Long Island, was placed on leave after the incident was exposed. The school is now investigating the incident.
Trisha Paul recounted to the New York Daily News that her son, Trayson, 11, was punished for finding other work to do after he finished his reading assignment early. His initiative upset his English teacher, and she scolded him for working ahead. The teacher ripped up the work and sent the child to Holian’s office.
That’s where things went from ridiculous to horrid. Holian instructed Trayson to kneel and apologize to the teacher. The trifling headmaster told the Haitian-American boy that it was “an African way” to apologize as allegedly told to him by an unnamed and never produced “Nigerian” father.
On March 1, in a phone call, Paul asked Holian if having students kneel to apologize was standard practice. At that time, he admitted that it was not standard and repeated the same story about Nigerians teaching him practice. Once the boy’s mother sat down for an in-person meeting with the bigoted administrator, the story changed.
On March 4, Holian changed his story and said Trayson was “really disrespectful and rude to a teacher in front of the other students.”
He further claimed he was trying to teach the boy a lesson about how to not speak to women.
Holian continued his lies by directly contradicting his initial statement and saying that he thought making the child kneel would reinforce the situation’s gravity.
According to the racist man, Trayson wouldn’t have learned anything by verbally apologizing.
“So it was changing the way you say ‘I apologize, ” Holian said.
Paul said the school has never spoken with her about her son having behavior issues.
The incident has taken a toll on the student. Being debased has caused him to become withdrawn, where he was once outgoing. According to his mother, Trayson is still trying to process the racialized mental abuse he received that day.
St. Martin de Porres Marianist charges parents roughly $8,000 a year for tuition. The school said they do not condone Holian’s actions, nor does the incident reflect the school’s values.
According to the school’s website, Holian is no longer the headmaster. He was allowed to resign vs. the institution terminating the dishonest racist.
“St. Martin de Porres Marianist School has accepted the resignation of our former headmaster,” the statement read. “The leadership of St. Martin de Porres Marianist School continues to review the incident in question to ensure that it is never repeated again in any form. It is important to assure students, parents, and faculty that this incident does not reflect our long, established value of respect for the individual or the established protocols regarding student-related issues.”
Paul has retained an attorney.