The two students were among a group of five either suspended or expelled from the school at 4200 W. 115th St. in the wake of the text message incident.
The text messages surfaced Nov. 6 after a protest following the fatal police shooting of a 25-year-old black man the day before in Mount Greenwood. Black activists said they encountered '60s-style racism as they clashed with demonstrators supporting police.
Meanwhile on Twitter, someone shared a screen shot of a text message reportedly from a Marist student, who said "I F------ HATE N------," to which one of her friends replied, "same."
The plaintiffs were kicked out of school within days of the messages going viral “without hearing their side of the story and without any disciplinary process,” according to the suit.
The unnamed fathers in the lawsuit want their daughters reinstated at the school or reimbursed $65,000 each for tuition and school costs. They also are seeking more than $1 million for privacy invasion, the suit says.
The text messages led to added tensions in the neighborhood. A group called Youth for Black Lives planned a Veteran's Day protest along with several Chicago Public School student groups as a result of the messages. The demonstration would have concluded at the Catholic high school in Mount Greenwood.
That protest was called off after Ald. Matt O'Shea (19th) and leaders from Marist met with organizers. The youth group also cited safety concerns as a reason for the cancelation as racist threats were posted on social media ahead of the Nov. 11 protest.
The two white teenagers, who are also unnamed in the lawsuit, were among 32 girls included in the text message group. The group originally met in September at a religious retreat, known as Kairos.
The retreat is designed for young women to meet and "freely express themselves on all types of topics," according to the lawsuit. As part of the retreat, the girls involved were promised that "any comments made orally would be strictly confidential."
The suit filed in in Cook County Circuit Court says the group eventually shared a tweet via a group text claiming protesters were going to bring gang members to kill white residents in retaliation for the police shooting. At least one of the girls involved in the suit lives in Mount Greenwood.
The girls acknowledge in the court papers that they made comments that “others believed to be racially insensitive.” But the suit further alleges the girls are “being maligned, labeled as racists and used as scapegoats by Marist to respond to an array of social media criticisms and media pressure.”
The lawsuit then contends it was the school that allowed the girls’ full names on its Facebook and Twitter accounts as well as on Principal Larry Tucker's Twitter account, violating their privacy as minors and jeopardizing future college admissions.
Additionally, the girls claim that administrators were unfair in singling them out in the 287-message conversation with dozens of others who used “similar language,” the lawsuit claims.
Principal Tucker and disciplinary dean Beth O’Neill are listed as defendants in the suit along with the school. A Marist spokeswoman said Tuesday that the school does not comment on any pending litigation.
The lawsuit also points to a March 14, 2014 incident in which a black student and Marist football player, according to the suit, tweeted a comment "advocating the killing of white people." That student was required to receive counseling following the comment, the suit argues.
"By comparison, the comments made by the minor plaintiffs were, at most, racially insensitive," the lawsuit says.
Meanwhile, 5,670 signatures have been collected on an online petition as of Tuesday morning, which seemingly seeks to repeal the discipline handed down to the five female students involved in the racist text exchange.
"These highly-intelligent young women made a horrible mistake that they wish they had never made," the petition states. "But if you do not forgive others for their sins, your father will not forgive your sins."
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