UPDATE: Ohio college makes multi-million dollar payment to a local bakery after false accusations of racism

'The Ohio Supreme Court issued its decision not to hear Oberlin's appeal. Oberlin’s Board of Trustees has decided not to pursue the matter further,' the school’s statement read.

'We couldn't make payroll, so we had to let go of half of our employees and cut our operating hours way back,' the Bakery owner said.

Oberlin College (OC), a private liberal arts college in Ohio, announced on Thursday that the school had paid $36.59 million to Gibson’s Bakery after the Ohio Supreme Court ruled in favor of the bakery in March. 

“We are disappointed by the Court’s decision. However, this does not diminish our respect for the law and the integrity of our legal system,” the college's announcement read. 

The settlement comes after the state’s highest court ruled it would not hear OC’s appeal.

“On August 30, the Ohio Supreme Court issued its decision not to hear Oberlin's appeal.” The statement continued, “Oberlin’s Board of Trustees has decided not to pursue the matter further.”

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Campus Reform previously reported on the bakery after it filed a lawsuit against the OC in 2017 when the college cut business ties with the bakery and after several administrators accused the store of “racially profiling” a group of Black OC students who were attempting to steal wine.

Only days before the college made the payment, the owner of the Bakery, Lorna Gibson, made it clear that the lawsuit and allegations had resulted in deep financial hardship for the business. 

By the time the trial started, things were falling apart. We couldn't make payroll, so we had to let go of half of our employees and cut our operating hours way back," Gibson wrote in a Sept. 1 article for Common Sense.

Gibson said the entire process was “deeply painful” for her family, including her father-in-law.

“My father-in-law…loved to sit outside the store all day and talk to whomever went by,” Gibson wrote. "Since word about the business with the college had spread, he’d sit outside for hours and hours, but no one would talk to him. It broke his heart and mine. Calling us racists wasn’t just wrong, it was deeply painful to our core.”

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The private college admitted in its announcement that the process had been taxing, “This matter has been painful for everyone. We hope that the end of the litigation will begin the healing of our entire community.”

Campus Reform contacted Oberlin College for comment and was directed to the Aug. 8 announcement. 

The university is currently awaiting confirmation from Gibson’s Bakery that it has received payment.

Campus Reform contacted Oberlin College and Gibson’s Bakery for comment. This article will be updated accordingly. 

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