The headmaster, according to Paul, told her he’d learnt the disciplinary approach from a Nigerian father who said it was an “African way” of apologising.
"I was just at a loss for words," Paul, who, along with her son, is Black and of Haitian descent, told CNN. "I didn’t understand the relevance."
“Once he started mentioning this African family, that’s when it just clicked. Like, this is not normal procedure. I felt there was no relevance at all. Is he generalising that everyone who is Black is African? That’s when I realised something is not right with this situation,’ she told local paper NY Daily News in a different interview.
A white Long Island Catholic school headmaster forced a Black 11-year-old student to kneel down and apologize to a… https://t.co/5Wl38mJUwK
— New York Daily News (@New York Daily News)
And so on Wednesday, the school announced Holian has resigned from his position:
“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,” the school’s statement said.
It added, “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.”