Saturday, October 6, 2007

A Catholic, Catholic High School

Loyola Academy Student Expelled For Showing Topless Photo
WILMETTE, Ill. (STNG) - A varsity high school football player at Loyola Academy who showed a picture of a topless female student to several teammates has been kicked out of school.
His father rejects the punishment, meted out last month, as unfair and is preparing a lawsuit. A rally to support 15-year-old Pierre Steel, spearheaded by the Millions More Movement and the Nation of Islam, is scheduled for Thursday afternoon at the school’s Wilmette campus.

Loyola Academy is a Jesuit college preparatory high school. The Society of Jesus (The Jesuits) is a Catholic religious community. “They just jumped the gun to keep up their North Shore image,” said the boy’s father, Ray Washington. “Pierre was wrong, most definitely, but not expulsion wrong.” Washington says race played a role in his son’s punishment, a charge Loyola denies. Pierre is African-American. The girl and other students involved are white. “Loyola Academy bases its disciplinary measures upon the extent of misconduct and not on any other factor, including race,” the school said in a statement. Washington says Pierre and the girl, who Pierre says had been his girlfriend for several months, were at the home of a third student on Saturday, Sept. 8. The girl took off her shirt, posed and Pierre snapped a picture on his camera phone, Washington said. On Sunday, Pierre showed the picture to a few football players on the school’s football field. By Monday, Pierre’s parents were called to the school. Washington says the school told Pierre to turn in his football jersey and empty his locker. Then, they forced his parents to withdraw Pierre, despite Washington’s repeated requests for a hearing, he said. A Loyola official said Pierre was asked to withdraw and his parents agreed. The Loyola official also said the girl didn’t consent to the picture. A call to her home was not returned. “Pierre’s showing of the inappropriate video to his classmates seriously compromised the safe learning environment that is essential for the academic success of all students,” the school statement said. Washington says all three students present for the picture-taking should face equal punishment. Loyola said two other students were disciplined but didn’t elaborate. Pierre’s parents have visited three potential new schools, but each wanted to know what happened at Loyola. Washington accuses Loyola of standing in the way of finding a new school for Pierre, another charge the school denies. Loyola says it hasn’t talked to any schools about Pierre’s possible enrollment. Pierre now has been out of school for three weeks. “I pleaded with these people that my son loves Loyola,” said Washington, a real estate developer from Deerfield. “This is like his family.”
Copyright 2007 STNG Wire, The Chicago Sun-Times. Link to original article (here)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I would very much like to see updates in this situation if possible.