Four Long Island teenagers have been expelled from their Catholic high school, two for wearing a Confederate flag at a sporting event and two for posting a photo of themselves in blackface on a social media site.
The incidents took place last week and involved students at St. Anthony’s High School in the Suffolk County hamlet of South Huntington, The Associated Press reported. The students’ identifies weren’t available.
St. Anthony’s principal, Brother Gary Cregan, said Wednesday he expelled two seniors who walked into an after-hours European handball match at the school with the Confederate flag draped over their shoulders. Cregan earlier had suspended them for 10 days.
The game was between two teams from the school, one composed mainly of white students, the other mainly of black students, WABC said.
“Everybody was kind of like, are you serious, did this actually just happen. The gym teachers took precautions. It was unbelievable how quickly they made sure the flag was away,” Aleksei Korobow told WABC.
In a letter Friday to parents that Newsday posted on Twitter, Cregan said the students “foolishly decided to use and display a symbol of hate.”
“The use of any symbol, either historic or current, which carries a meaning designed to revive past injustices, or to inflame discrimination or racial intolerance is completely unacceptable and profoundly offensive. The students responsible for this hurtful conduct have been treated in a very serious disciplinary fashion.”
St. Anthony’s always will demand respect for all races, religions and cultures, he wrote.
He urged parents to encourage their children to think about that and work toward ending discrimination. He also urged parents to monitor their children’s communications and “Immediately terminate and remove all destructive posts.”