Auckland teen leaves school after blackface selfie investigation

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A student who posed in blackface for a Snapchat photo has left Auckland’s Westlake Girls High School, the college has confirmed.

Westlake Girls High School in Takapuna, Auckland.

Westlake Girls High School in Takapuna, Auckland. Photo: Screenshot / GoogleMaps

The image was shared on the same day George Floyd was killed in the US by white police officers, which has this week sparked widespread protest action and civil unrest across the US, and solidarity marches in New Zealand.

A spokesperson of Westlake Girls High said they had “spoken to the student and her parents, and as a result that student has chosen not to return to school”.

When first asked to address the outcome of the investigation today the school replied:

“Westlake Girls High School is a multi-cultural school that genuinely celebrates diversity and works hard to foster a culture that allows all students to feel respected for who they are. We have never condoned racist behaviour of any type, at any time.

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“Our school has been the subject of a large amount of social media commentary over the past week, especially for a perceived lack of action because we have chosen not to publicly comment as we work through this issue within our school.

“As you would expect, some of this has been abusive. Our students and parent community remain our primary focus and we are in the process of engagement with both, so that we can use this opportunity positively to heal and move forward.”

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