Alumni share stories of racial prejudice experienced at St. Francis High School

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Former students at St. Francis Catholic High School in Sacramento shared their personal stories Thursday night of what they say was blatant racism on campus.

“There was a meeting with administrators to discuss race and in that meeting an administrator used the N-word,” said Kiki Velez.

Velez graduated from the school in 2017. She now attends Stanford University.

“One of my experiences was being told senior year by a teacher to my face that I had only gotten into a school because I was Mexican, which was a very silly thing to say because I had gotten into many good schools,” Velez told FOX40.

Angella Brown graduated in 2006. She said when she first attended St. Francis her sophomore year she was excited to be part of the theater program.

However, Brown said she soon realized that her acting skills were irrelevant because of the color of her skin.

“I was typecast and was put in parts as kind of like a mammy role. I was not really brought into the department like a lot of other white girls were,” Brown said. “So, that was definitely heartbreaking. It was a passion of mine.”

Similar stories of racism and microaggressions have recently been shared by other former and current students on social media.

In response to the accusations, St. Francis released a statement to FOX40 that reads in part:

When we hear that students of color experience our school in a negative way, as we’ve heard so clearly on social media, we’re going to work hard to address it. We stand with our students as partners in creating a thriving learning environment and a more just world. Racism has no place in our world or in our community. 

St. Francis Catholic High School

Brown and Velez believe it’s the school and administration that needs the education lesson. They both said that bringing in outside help needs to happen immediately.

“We need to highlight our Muslim students. We need to highlight Jewish students. We need to highlight every culture that’s there because there were beautiful cultures that got shut down, not just African Americans,” Brown said.

“St. Francis needs to take the step of really committing to addressing these problems by hiring someone with a full-time position to focus on these issues,” Velez said.

School officials told FOX40 they are hoping to have discussions on racism and other issues at the school in a community-wide video chat that will happen Friday afternoon.

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