Student Endures Racial Punishment
Trayson Paul, a Black student at the St. Martin de Porres Marianist School in Uniondale, NY did the wrong assignment in his English class.His English teacher immediately sent him to Headmaster John Holian‘s office.
According to TMZ, Holian claimed he’d been informed by the father of a Nigerian student at the $15,000-per-year school. He asserted that it’s the “African way of apologizing,” ordered Paul to get on his knees and confess his misdeed.
“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 generalizing that everyone who is Black is African? That’s when I realized something is not right with this situation,” she said.
“He reads about things happening because of your skin color. To experience it… he’s just trying to process it in his 11-year-old brain,” she continued.
Trayson’s Mother Details Outrage
In fact, Trisha Paul researched the school prior to enrolling her son.
“I placed him where I thought he was in a safe, a warm and loving environment where I thought he would learn.”
Trisha called Holian on March 1 and asked him how the story about African tradition was relevant. He reportedly tiptoed around the issue. After a meeting on March 4, Trisha realized that she needed to involve her lawyers.
The Headmaster Doubles Down
Holian, who considers the punishment appropriate, reiterated his stance on the matter.
“It was a situation where your son was really disrespectful and rude to a teacher in front of the other students.” He continued, “The whole idea is for your son to see he can’t speak to women that way.”
Trisha describes her son as well-behaved. Actually the furthest thing from a troublemaker.
Paul discusses the headmaster’s demeanor.
“He showed no remorse until he realized how it’s impacted my son.”
“He’s going to therapy. He’s been very reserved and humiliated,” she said. She also said he has been steering clear of the headmaster and avoiding direct communication with his teachers.
The Acting Headmaster Issues Statement
Acting headmaster James Conway wrote in the letter, “I want to assure you that St. Martin’s neither condones nor accepts the actions of our headmaster,” per an email obtained by The Daily News. “The incident does not reflect our long, established values or the established protocols regarding student related issues.”