5 things to know about Cardinal Newman School
Cardinal Newman’s senior class has a new motto: “We learn. We love. We Grow. We Stand As One.”
That new motto — proposed by a group of seniors and now emblazoned on a banner hanging in front of the school on students’ first day back on Tuesday — symbolizes the mood of students and parents, who are ready to move on from threats against the school and racist videos by a former student that rocked the Cardinal Newman community.
“It was a great first day...My son stated he didn’t have any issues with it,” said Kotina Hutto, whose son is a senior at Cardinal Newman. “I love the slogan, the banner they had out front.”
The school of about 500 students in northeast Columbia started its first day back with an assembly where school officials discussed the threats and racist videos and allowed students to ask questions, according to a letter sent to parents by principal Robert Loia.
“If anybody had any questions, they could just raise their hands and they would be called on,” Hutto said.
There were hints of normalcy on the school’s first day. Students were excited that they were now allowed to wear hoodies, so long as they are Cardinal Newman related, and the school is planning a tailgate Friday with hamburgers and hot dogs, Loia said. The Cardinal football team opens its season Friday at home against John Paul II Catholic School.
After the videos surfaced — and the 16-year-old former student was charged with threatening a school — Cardinal Newman promised to increase security, require diversity training, and provide additional counselors for students, according to a previous article from The State. Richland County Sheriff’s Department closed the case Monday, announcing no others would be charged in connection to the threats.
During the assembly, school officials introduced students to the additional counselors the school would have in response to this summer’s threats, Loia said in the letter.
“2019-2020 will be a year of learning, love, and growth at Cardinal Newman,” Loia wrote. “I am proud and grateful that our students committed to ‘standing as one’ with one another today.”