SACRAMENTO (CBS 13) — Outrage and demands for justice persist at a Sacramento Catholic high school.
A student at St. Francis Catholic High School who was seen in a video using blackface to impersonate a fellow student is no longer at the school, a spokesperson confirms. School leaders called the photo “completely unacceptable.”READ MORE: Researchers: ‘Solar Canals' In California Could Save Water, Fight For Climate Change
Activists are praising the quick action, but say the problem goes much deeper.
A crowd of passionate students and community members gathered at the school on Wednesday to make clear that the conversation about race is just getting started.
“We understand the severity of racism. Now that we do, we need to hold zero tolerance type of provision in our schools and at work,” said Tecoy Porter, a pastor at Genesis Church.
Former students and parents at St. Francis high school spoke out last summer about deep-seated racism there. School leaders then launched a racial reconciliation program to train staff about racial bias.
But months later, the photo incident happened.READ MORE: Shock G, Off-Kilter Leader Of Bay Area's Digital Underground, Dead At 57
Pastor Porter said it’s a dehumanizing moment that can be a teaching moment.
“It’s the actions of it all, and to make sure people take this seriously because literally, lives are on the line,” he said.
Tere Flores with activist group Sacramento ACT said schools should teach more Black history in a way that’s culturally competent. She suggests more training for teachers.
“The conversation isn’t just about students showing up with blackface, it’s about a system that continues to perpetuate systematic racism,” Flores said.
It’s about turning a hurtful moment, into a hopeful conversation.
“In order for our world to be a better place, we have to learn to treat each other better,” Pastor Porter said.MORE NEWS: 'The Damage Is Bad': Sacramento Neighbors Fed Up After Wayward Golf Balls Keep Hitting Homes, Cars
CBS13 requested an interview with a St. Francis Catholic High School representative to explain their racial reconciliation plan in more detail but no one could be available in time for this story.