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By Dennis Romero
The bishop of the Covington Diocese in Kentucky apologizes to the teenager at the center of a controversy on the behavior of Catholic high school students toward a Native American Elder in Washington.
In a Letter to Parents, the Most Rev. Roger Foys said the diocese was too quick to condemn the actions of the Covington Catholic High School students, especially those of Nicholas Sandman Native American elder Nathan Phillips performed the song "The American Indian Movement" near the Lincoln Memorial.
"We should not have any bullshit, but we'll take full advantage of it." responsibility for it, "Foys wrote.
Cincinnati suburbs were made on video Jan. 18 doing a high school chant and surrounding Native Americans near the memorial. They were on a trip to the March for Life, an anti-abortion event.
MAGA hats and clothing. Phillips said chanted "build the wall" in reference to President Donald Trump's vow to build a wall along the US-Mexico border.
Phillips and a few other Native Americans surrounded by teenagers who looked like they were taunting and chanting at the troupe.
"Nicholas unfortunately has become the allegations based on video clips," the bishop wrote. It's not fair. "
Foys said students and
He said an investigative team has been "engaged" to get to the bottom of what happened in Washington.
"We apologize to anyone who
Immediately after the standoff, a spokeswoman for the diocese issued a statement that criticized the students' behavior.
"We condemn the actions of the Covington Catholic High School students towards Nathan Phillips specifically, and Native Americans in General, Jan. 18, after the March for Life, in Washington, DC, "the diocese's statement said. "We extend our deepest apologies to Mr. Phillips."
Sandman's family hired him to navigate media attention. He told NBC's "Today" that he was not trying to show disrespect.
"People have judged me based on one expression, which is not smirking," he said.
Both Sandman and Phillips said they felt threatened .
Phillips, also appearing on "Today" separately, said, "Even though I'm angry, I still have that forgiveness in my heart for those students."
Many Americans came to the defense of the teenagers after additional video from the confrontations that had been verbally attacked by a group of Hebrew Israelites.
Sandman did not apologize.
"I mean, in hindsight, I wish we could've walked away and avoided the whole thing," he said on "Today."