Baker says Oberlin College’s $36 million payout is ‘bittersweet’

The owner of a family-run bakery in Ohio has awarded $36 million in damages after Oberlin College on Sunday falsely accused the store of racism and called the payout “bittersweet”.

Gibson’s Bakery’s Lorna Gibson appeared on “Fox & Friends Weekend” after the liberal arts school definitively ducked the settlement for the November 2016 incident this month.

“It’s definitely bittersweet,” she said on the Fox News show.

“It has taken a tremendous toll. A lot of stress, a lot of financial burden. It definitely hit us hard.”

Both Gibson’s father and husband died as the lengthy legal battle over the incident unfolded.

The bakery eventually won its defamation lawsuit against Oberlin, who sided with three black students who claimed the store racially profiled them when they were caught shoplifting.

Gibson’s son Allyn had chased the students out of the bakery and a scuffle ensued. When police arrived, the trio claimed Allyn had racially profiled and assaulted her.

Shortly thereafter, demonstrators gathered in front of the bakery and demanded a boycott of their products.

Lorna Gibson, the Ohio bakery owner who was awarded $36 million by Oberlin College after being accused of racism, called the settlement "bittersweet."
Lorna Gibson, the owner of an Ohio bakery who was awarded $36 million by Oberlin College after being accused of racism, called the settlement “bittersweet”.
AP Photo/Dake Kang

A staffer at Oberlin College claimed the family had “a long record of racial profiling and discrimination” and worried leaflets calling for a boycott.

In an article for The Post in September, Gibson wrote: “A week after the incident, the school canceled all of our standing orders… The school issued a statement implying that this was not an isolated incident.

“Our business with the students themselves and the administration … has dried up completely. And the students kept showing up to protest.”

Although the shoplifting students eventually pleaded guilty to attempted theft, the family said they lost many businesses and suffered a damaged reputation. She plans to use the settlement money to rebuild the store.

Gibson’s attorney, Lee Plakas, told Fox News, “It really should have been an educational moment for the college … and the students learned, they admitted their guilt, they apologized and moved on.

Gibson said the lawsuit has taken a financial and emotional toll on her family.
Gibson said the lawsuit has taken a financial and emotional toll on her family.
Bruce Bishop/Chronicle Telegram via AP

“The college still doesn’t get it,” Plakas added. “The teachers refused to be taught or to accept the lessons.”

Gibson said she hopes the case teaches people not to jump to conclusions.

“I just hope that when incidents happen, people will step back and try to figure out what really happened and not jump to conclusions or just listen to a few to escalate something,” she said.

https://nypost.com/2022/12/18/baker-says-oberlin-colleges-36m-payout-is-bittersweet/ Baker says Oberlin College’s $36 million payout is ‘bittersweet’

JACLYN DIAZ

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