News

St. Francis High School launches investigation into racist Instagram linked to recent grads

St. Francis High School on March 8, 2017. Photo by Michelle Le.

UPDATE: A St. Francis parent announced a demonstration at the high school's entrance is set for 1-2:30 p.m. Monday, June 8. The Facebook event announcement says it's in protest of "the outrageous behavior (of) current and former students from SFHS."

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St. Francis High School officials released a statement Thursday condemning what they call a "highly offensive" and "racist" Instagram account linked to recent graduates of the school, promising an investigation and disciplinary action.

In the letter to families of the private school in Mountain View, St. Francis president Jason Curtis and Principal Katie Teekell wrote that the school worked with Instagram to take the account down, and that they are taking immediate steps to investigate who was involved.

"We are outraged and sickened by the content, and deeply sorry for the trauma and pain it has caused to our community," according to the letter.

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The announcement does not detail the nature of the social media posts, but states that allegations or incidents of racism and other offensive behavior are in "direct contradiction" to the values of the Catholic school. School officials say the rare step of publicly announcing student disciplinary action indicates the seriousness of the incident and its impact on the community.

"We will continue to take seriously and respond strongly to this behavior whenever we encounter it, and appreciate your trust and partnership," the letter states.

Curtis said in an email that the school is not releasing further details on the nature of the social media content or how many students were involved, citing a pending investigation. He also declined to detail how the school would take disciplinary action against students who have already graduated.

Civil unrest over racial injustice and police brutality reached a fever pitch last week after protests over the death of George Floyd erupted in all 50 states across the country. Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis police officer on May 25, when the officer pressed his right knee into Lloyd's neck for nearly nine minutes.

The officer has since been charged with second-degree murder, and three other officers involved in the incident have also been charged with aiding and abetting murder.

There have been a series of largely peaceful protests for the past week, with a demonstration Monday where hundreds of protesters -- mostly students -- marched from Menlo Park to join a Palo Alto protest. That demonstration splintered into groups marching into East Palo Alto, briefly blocking major roads and Highway 101 while chanting and holding signs in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. Similar demonstrations took place throughout the Bay Area, some of which sparked violent confrontations with police and property damage, leading several cities and San Mateo County to impose curfews.

St. Francis school officials say the school has been working with its student leaders to take a progressive stance on racial injustice, and is preparing to launch a compilation of resources for students, teachers and families to take action.

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St. Francis High School launches investigation into racist Instagram linked to recent grads

by / Mountain View Voice

Uploaded: Thu, Jun 4, 2020, 6:34 pm

UPDATE: A St. Francis parent announced a demonstration at the high school's entrance is set for 1-2:30 p.m. Monday, June 8. The Facebook event announcement says it's in protest of "the outrageous behavior (of) current and former students from SFHS."

---

St. Francis High School officials released a statement Thursday condemning what they call a "highly offensive" and "racist" Instagram account linked to recent graduates of the school, promising an investigation and disciplinary action.

In the letter to families of the private school in Mountain View, St. Francis president Jason Curtis and Principal Katie Teekell wrote that the school worked with Instagram to take the account down, and that they are taking immediate steps to investigate who was involved.

"We are outraged and sickened by the content, and deeply sorry for the trauma and pain it has caused to our community," according to the letter.

The announcement does not detail the nature of the social media posts, but states that allegations or incidents of racism and other offensive behavior are in "direct contradiction" to the values of the Catholic school. School officials say the rare step of publicly announcing student disciplinary action indicates the seriousness of the incident and its impact on the community.

"We will continue to take seriously and respond strongly to this behavior whenever we encounter it, and appreciate your trust and partnership," the letter states.

Curtis said in an email that the school is not releasing further details on the nature of the social media content or how many students were involved, citing a pending investigation. He also declined to detail how the school would take disciplinary action against students who have already graduated.

Civil unrest over racial injustice and police brutality reached a fever pitch last week after protests over the death of George Floyd erupted in all 50 states across the country. Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis police officer on May 25, when the officer pressed his right knee into Lloyd's neck for nearly nine minutes.

The officer has since been charged with second-degree murder, and three other officers involved in the incident have also been charged with aiding and abetting murder.

There have been a series of largely peaceful protests for the past week, with a demonstration Monday where hundreds of protesters -- mostly students -- marched from Menlo Park to join a Palo Alto protest. That demonstration splintered into groups marching into East Palo Alto, briefly blocking major roads and Highway 101 while chanting and holding signs in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. Similar demonstrations took place throughout the Bay Area, some of which sparked violent confrontations with police and property damage, leading several cities and San Mateo County to impose curfews.

St. Francis school officials say the school has been working with its student leaders to take a progressive stance on racial injustice, and is preparing to launch a compilation of resources for students, teachers and families to take action.

Comments

mvresident
Monta Loma
on Jun 4, 2020 at 8:05 pm
mvresident, Monta Loma
on Jun 4, 2020 at 8:05 pm
33 people like this

Some things never change. Went to St. Francis decades ago; elitist and racist back then. And exactly what kind of disciplinary action can the school take? The school already graduated these upstanding (not) youth.


Mvresidentiswrong
another community
on Jun 4, 2020 at 11:46 pm
Mvresidentiswrong, another community
on Jun 4, 2020 at 11:46 pm
81 people like this

Your comment is unappreciated, I graduated from saint Francis, I am an African American and I don’t think it’s elitist and racist, they made me the person I am today, a college athlete who works hard and cares about what he does, they taught me important values that I will hold close to my heart for life. Please save this false blaming of Saint Francis and do something with your life.


Alumni
another community
on Jun 4, 2020 at 11:54 pm
Alumni, another community
on Jun 4, 2020 at 11:54 pm
43 people like this

Lmao the school didn’t do anything, we did


Another Alum
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 5, 2020 at 12:26 am
Another Alum, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 5, 2020 at 12:26 am
29 people like this

When I saw what that account posted, I was absolutely sick to my stomach. As a black person, knowing that I've gone to school with some of these students since KINDERGARTEN had me heartbroken. How could they make fun of such things? I am so proud that it was SFHS students who contacted Mrs. Teekell (who has been AMAZING in handling racially charged incidents ever since she became principal and actively listens to the minorities that attend the school) and collected a list of names of who was behind the account. It's nice to know we have strong allies who will not put up with this crap in the slightest. I hope that the students behind this are disciplined, and perhaps their admissions revoked.


sfhshasalwaysbeenracist
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 5, 2020 at 8:36 am
sfhshasalwaysbeenracist, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 5, 2020 at 8:36 am
22 people like this

The guy up there who “went to SF” sounds like a plant. I had a friend have to leave the school because of anti-semitism. The school did nothing. If you were an athlete, white, and rich, you could get away with anything. Sounds like the sentiment remains the same. I hope this is an actual wake up call.


Out them, we'll talk to the parents
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 5, 2020 at 12:34 pm
Out them, we'll talk to the parents, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 5, 2020 at 12:34 pm
3 people like this

this is disgusting


Bob
Blossom Valley
on Jun 5, 2020 at 2:16 pm
Bob, Blossom Valley
on Jun 5, 2020 at 2:16 pm
16 people like this

@mvresident Here's what they can do about it. They can contact the colleges they are supposed to go to and boom - bye bye!


Mtn View Resident
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 5, 2020 at 2:37 pm
Mtn View Resident, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 5, 2020 at 2:37 pm
27 people like this

These three boys are current students and they should be expelled. The school should not tolerate any racism.


Concerned
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 5, 2020 at 2:55 pm
Concerned, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 5, 2020 at 2:55 pm
11 people like this

The kids are probably parroting what they hear at home. Disgusting behavior. That said any discipline should allow them to go to college and to make amends.


MVresident08
Rex Manor
on Jun 5, 2020 at 2:56 pm
MVresident08, Rex Manor
on Jun 5, 2020 at 2:56 pm
14 people like this

The article Suggests the students involved may have graduated already but the most recent post from another Mtn View resident indicates the students still attend SFHS. As such, disciplinary action can still be taken as this behavior can not be tolerated.


@mtn view resident
North Bayshore
on Jun 5, 2020 at 3:48 pm
@mtn view resident, North Bayshore
on Jun 5, 2020 at 3:48 pm
37 people like this

To the comment that suggested expulsion, there is little students learn from that. Expulsion is when immediate safety is or was at risk.

Otherwise, better for the school to do the long hard work to dismantle racist ideas in young people.


mvresident
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 5, 2020 at 10:14 pm
mvresident, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 5, 2020 at 10:14 pm
4 people like this

@mvresidentiswrong
I've done a lot with my life actually. And BTW - sharing one's experience is not false blaming, but perhaps St. Francis didn't teach you this.


Advocate against sexual violence
another community
on Jun 6, 2020 at 9:32 am
Advocate against sexual violence , another community
on Jun 6, 2020 at 9:32 am
8 people like this

Saint Francis steps up and condemns this racist action but still sweeps sexual assault that happens on the campus under the rug. The Lancer community deserves to know about all the horrors that happen, not just the ones that were going to get exposed anyway. Maybe they didn’t have the precious football reputation to protect this time.


Mary C
Old Mountain View
on Jun 7, 2020 at 7:26 am
Mary C, Old Mountain View
on Jun 7, 2020 at 7:26 am
6 people like this

If you are really appalled by this then I encourage everyone to please reach out to the media immediately. You can reach out to NBCbayarea (the people they lied to about the student being graduates) and all of the news media in the bay area and National News. This behavior has to come with consequences or it will continue and empower other students to believe if they got away with so can I. People of all races must unite against St. Francis's cover up's and this type of behavior at that school. The pictures are horrible!!!! They were posted during a time when protest are all over the country for racial inequality and social injustice. This type of behavior by students still attending St. Francis (not graduates), as reported by St. Francis must be addressed. We must demand disciplinary action be taken and made public.


SF Concerned parent
Old Mountain View
on Jun 7, 2020 at 4:12 pm
SF Concerned parent, Old Mountain View
on Jun 7, 2020 at 4:12 pm
7 people like this

A few concerned parents are organizing a peaceful protest at the school 1PM. Come show your support.

Web Link


Saints
North Whisman
on Jun 7, 2020 at 4:13 pm
Saints , North Whisman
on Jun 7, 2020 at 4:13 pm
MyOpinion
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 8, 2020 at 1:52 pm
MyOpinion, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 8, 2020 at 1:52 pm
8 people like this

If these students are still at St Francis they should be expelled...end of story, these are not little kids. High school kids SHOULD know the difference between right and wrong but maybe they feel it's OK because they are following the lead of the POTUS. This type of behavior cannot be tolerated, at St Francis or anyplace else. Expel them...now.


daniel
another community
on Jun 9, 2020 at 5:16 am
daniel, another community
on Jun 9, 2020 at 5:16 am
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