A Jewish teenager from Fort Mill, South Carolina said he was beaten and subjected to anti-Semitic taunts by teammates on his middle school’s football team.
Caspian Driscoll, 15, said he tried to use earbuds to drown out the crude sexual comments about his grandmother and Adolf Hitler and several anti-Semitic jokes that mocked the Holocaust, Herald Online reported.
Driscoll reportedly asked his teammates to be quiet so he could wish his grandmother a happy birthday by cell phone, prompting them to shout the anti-Semitic insults.
Later, when he attempted to get off the school bus, Driscoll said a teammate pushed him back in his seat and told him to “’Sit down, you stupid Jew!”
“So I pushed him back, trying to get away, trying to get off the bus,” Caspian said, “and he pulled me down and started punching me. I punched him back a couple of times in self-defense and tried to get away.”
The incident led to a two-day suspension from school for Driscoll and three other students, all of whom were also kicked off the football team for the duration of the season due to the school’s “no tolerance” policy for violence, Herald Online reported.
The district’s response has motivated Caspian’s mom, Mims Driscoll, to post several YouTube videos about the situation, as well as organize a petition on Change.org, a social justice website that collects signatures, which had aquired 105 supporters by Tuesday night. She also created a Facebook page called, “I’m the Mom,” which garnered 238 “likes.”
Mims also reached out to Jonathan Shaw, former president of Fort Mill’s Temple Kol Ami congregation.
“This has been an issue for many years,” Shaw said. “It’s not based on Judaism. There needs to be an education on tolerance, on acceptance.”
“The common goal here is to be kind to your neighbor, to be accepting of one another,” Shaw said, according to Herald Online. “You don’t have to be evil. You don’t have to be mean.”
Caspian’s parents, Jim and Mims, are both Christians. Jim Driscoll is an ordained minister and founder of Stir the Water, an online resource for spiritual growth and prophetic training. Mims Driscoll, raised as an Orthodox Jew, converted to Christianity when she was 19.
The couple has raised their six children as Christians with an appreciation for their Jewish roots, particularly stories of their grandfather’s survival during the Holocaust.