Officials of the Lexington-Fayette branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) are now asking that parents of students attending Lexington Catholic High School students attend a three-part series on “white privilege, racial hatred” and racial bias. In addition, students would be required to a semester-long class on racial history that covers U.S. history and economics, as well as Kentucky’s history, economic and political system. Attorney Rebecca Ballard DiLoreto of Lexington’s Institute for Compassion in Justice told the Herald-Leader newspaper that the NAACP proposal is not diversity training, but education about “white privilege, racial hatred and the way racial bias serves those who held and want to retain economic power.”
Seeking to define the Catholic Church, DiLoreto said that the worldwide church “must be diverse and inclusive.” All those associated with the school in Lexington KY should become more fully educated, she said, about “racially imbued attitudes.” She said that the school can be in accord with Catholic teachings in support of the dignity of all persons or “it can work to protect white privilege.”
Local NAACP president William Saunders claims that “there is racial discrimination going on” at the school.
Representatives of the Institute for Compassion in Justice met with Catholic Bishop John Stowe last week and offered proposals to offer parents a course on “white privilege” so as to see it in themselves and their “life structure,” while working to eradicate it from your life and from the Lexington Catholic community.” Lexington Catholic High School staff and faculty are asked to attend the program and courses, according to Institute documents.
Other requirements include an audit and investigation in agreement with the NAACP to include the school’s “recruitment of black youth, perpetuation of stereotypes based on attitudes of white superiority, failure to consider needs of students of color and the breeding of an imbedded racist belief system within the school community.”
The NAACP has called for the resignation of school principal Sally Stevens and president Steve Angelucci, who the organization has claimed had mishandled recent incidents at the school.
Documents provided to Bishop Stowe on April 14 indicated that the NAACP will take its case to several academic accreditation agencies, including the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Kentucky Department of Education, Education Professional Standards Board, and the Kentucky Office of Civil Rights “while also making it abundantly clear that minorities in Lexington, Kentucky should unquestionably avoid sending their children to Lexington Catholic High School.”
Washington DC civil rights attorney Amos Jones
is representing five teens who are former students of Lexington Catholic High School. They are alleging separate incidents that include harassment and assault.
Bishop John Stowe
In one case, one of Jones’ clients claims to have been harassed by fellow members of the school’s football team. Subsequently, a 17-year-old boy was charged by Lexington police on April 7 with harassing communications and terroristic threatening. Local media reported that Denisha Vinegar, the mother of the allegedly harassed teen, found messages threatening her son on his computer. She alleged that they included a threat of lynching and telling her son to pick cotton or sell cocaine.
Another one of Jones’ clients is a white girl who alleges sexual assault by two white students at a chaperoned off-campus event. Of the five students represented by Jones, two are white females alleging sexual harassment.
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