San Francisco Catholic School Students Suspended Over 'Wigger" Themed Party
SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- More than a dozen students have been suspended from a San Francisco Catholic high school after taking part in a racist-themed party last weekend.
The principal of St. Ignatius College Preparatory took the action after word of the party at Stern Grove in the city's Parkside neighborhood spread on social media.
The gathering was a "wigger party" theme; the slang term a combination of "white" and the n-word. It refers to a white person who adopts mannerisms and clothing seen as racially stereotyping of African Americans.
According to those in attendance, there were some 80 to 100 students from a number of schools at the party, including black students. Some students said the party was a regular event in which someone brings a keg, cups are sold, and the parties have different themes.
Fourteen St. Ignatius students who posted pictures of the party on social media, mostly Instagram, were suspended.
In a statement on its website, the school said it held an assembly on Wednesday to detail what happened and said it would use the incident as a teachable moment. It also said the suspended students would get together with member of the Black Student Union "to engage in understanding, education and healing."
Regardless of the intent of those who participated, their actions had an adverse effect on the community and on them. We categorically condemn this gathering as it does not represent the Ignatian values or ideals that our school stands for, and thus we are called to respond. ... Over the years, we have done much work in the area of diversity through the school's Office of Equity and Inclusion, which is an integral part of our school community. Clearly, however, we have more work ahead of us in forming adolescents to be their best selves. Values of diversity, equity and inclusion are core school values. We also acknowledge that this is part of a larger national conversation, and we now have the opportunity to address this issue courageously and directly.
In the 2014-2015 school year, African Americans comprised 3.6 percent of the St. Ignatius student body of 1,479 students, compared to 62 percent for Caucasian students.
Carlos E. Castañeda is Senior Editor, News & Social Media for CBS San Francisco and a San Francisco native. You can follow him on Twitter or send him an email.
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