Published on the AFRO – The Black Media Authority on 24th March 2021
A white headteacher at a Catholic school in New York forced a black pupil to kneel while apologising to a teacher because he claimed, “it was the African way”.
On 25th February, Trayson Paul, an 11-year-old pupil was reprimanded by a teacher when he was caught working on an assignment for another class. Trisha Paul, the pupil’s mother, states that her son had completed the assigned reading early and started working on an assignment from a different class. The teacher escorted Trayson to the Headmaster’s office where he was forced to kneel and apologise to his teacher.
On 1st March, the pupil’s mother called St. Martin de Porres Marianist school and enquired if making a student kneel was a part of the school’s disciplinary process. The headteacher, John Holian, responded that it was not, and he had adopted this disciplinary approach from a Nigerian father, who claimed that it was “the African way”. Trisha Paul reported this incident to a local newspaper, who made enquiries to the school officials on this matter. John Holian has been placed on temporary leave since this incident was made public and will be under investigation. The acting headmaster, James Conway, has stated that the Holian’s actions do not reflect the school’s values or disciplinary procedures.