Mother claims Uniondale headmaster made Black son kneel to apologize to teacher

The mother of a Black student is claiming that the headmaster at St. Martin de Porres Marianist, who is white, forced her son to kneel while apologizing to a teacher.

News 12 Staff

Mar 22, 2021, 2:09 AM

Updated 1,127 days ago

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The mother of a Black student is claiming that the headmaster at St. Martin de Porres Marianist, who is white, forced her son to kneel while apologizing to a teacher.
Trisha Paul says it stemmed from her 11-year-old son working on the wrong assignment in his literature class.
She says her son is on the honor roll and never has had any disciplinary problems.
Paul says when she confronted headmaster John Holian, he confirmed the story and says he had gotten the idea from how a past Nigerian student's father had disciplined his son and that this was the "African way."
School officials have now put Holian on a leave of absence.
They sent an to email to parents and News 12 saying, "St. Martin's neither condones nor accepts the actions of our headmaster," adding "We have launched an internal review of the incident."
Paul says her son is not attending in person classes at the school, opting for remote learning for the time being. She says she's now looking for a therapist for her son because she adds this whole incident has changed him.
News 12 reached out to Holian for a comment but have not heard back. Paul says to keep this from happening to other Black children she would like Holian to step down or at the least apologize.
In a statement to parents, the school also said that the headmaster's actions were not consistent with the policies and philosophy of St. Martin's.


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