The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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February 14, 2013

Teen suspended over racial comment at school

BLOOMSBURG — A Pennsylvania teenager has been suspended from school over comments about the Catholic church and blacks.

The Press Enterprise reports Mike Brooks says school officials discriminated against his son, Austin, by suspending him for two days.  He says the Bloomsburg High School freshman had been talking with a friend about the perceived lack of black parishioners in the Catholic church.

He says his son responded by asking the friend, “Do any blacks go to your church?” When the boy, did not respond, his son added: “They must keep them in the basement.”

Austin says others were telling similar jokes Tuesday, but he was singled out.

Assistant Principal Steve Bressi says the comments were more offensive than the boy claimed. He says the nature of the jokes was wrong.

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