Officials at a Massachusetts middle school have launched a probe into the harassment of Jewish students by numerous classmates, including the use of a Nazi salute.
The investigation into the targeting of Jewish students at Jabish Brook Middle School was announced in an email earlier in April by superintendent of Belchertown Public Schools Brian Cameron as a follow-up to complaints submitted to the district by several parents, Daily Hampshire Gazette reported.
In the message, Cameron condemned the “use of racist and derogatory language and symbolism which is a blatant violation of school policy, and more importantly our community’s core values.”
During a recent Select Board meeting, a letter by one of the parents of the Jewish students was read out loud. The parent explained that her child told her that around 50 students performed the Nazi salute at the school and had been bullying Jewish students by referring to the Holocaust and gas chambers.
“These are not isolated events. They have been occurring for months,” the letter said. “These individuals are performing hate acts and seek the spotlight while doing it.”
However, through video footage, social media posts and other evidence uncovered by the school, Belchertown School Committee chair Heidi Gutekenst responded that less than ten students were involved in the harassment, according to the report.
“Nobody’s been expelled, but there have been consequences,” she said. “We’re including this in our racial equity educational program. It’s a broad spectrum of a lot of things, but this is one of them.”
The school’s principal, Thomas Ruscio, also said in an email to parents that “remedial actions” were being taken, including an “educational response to our eighth grade students.”
(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of the Seventh Day of Passover in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)