Anti-Semitism rears up in New York county

Students in Pine Bush school system report swastikas painted over playgrounds, walls, lockers, and even forcefully on girl's face. '"Jew" became an insult,' student explains. Governor orders investigation

An hour and a half drive from the city with the world's largest concentration of Jews, anti-Semitism is still alive and kicking. The New York Times reported anti-Semitic bullying and taunting, as well as the drawing of swastikas in the Pine Bush County's school system had grown so severe in recent years that three Jewish families had sued the district, claiming that their children’s rights were being violated.


Following the report, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered an investigation into the matter.


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Pine Bush County is about an hour and a half drive from New York City, and in the 1970s, was the home of the grand dragon of a Ku Klux Klan chapter, whose wife sat on the Pine Bush school board.


According to the Times, Jewish pupils in the county said that swastikas were sprayed everywhere: In the playgrounds, on walls, tables, lockers, textbooks, computer screens – and in one shocking incident, on a girl's face.


O.C., a student, testified about a more direct message from a sixth grader who formed his hand into the shape of a gun and “said he was killing Jews.”


In seventh grade, O.C. said, she saw a girl holding her hands up to hide a swastika on her face. The girl explained that a student had restrained her while another drew the insignia; the school said it had disciplined the two students.


O.C. said she heard slurs like Christ killer, stupid Jew, dirty Jew, disgusting Jew. “Jew was kind of an insult,” she explained.


Nazi salutes on the bus

Apart from anti-Semitic slurs, students testified about hearing crude jokes about the Holocaust and the killing of Jews. “How do you get a Jewish girl’s number? Lift up her sleeve,” went one.


The bus was a particularly difficult place for Jewish students. On April 19, 2010, T.E., then in sixth grade, told her mother that students on her bus had made Nazi salutes and discussed how to celebrate the anniversary of Hitler’s birthday, which was the next day.


Students also reported that coins were thrown at them, they were demanded to remove money from trash bins, they were pushed and bitten.


“The reports of rampant anti-Semitic harassment and physical assaults at Pine Bush schools, if true, are deeply disturbing,” Mr. Cuomo said in a statement.


“The public has a right to know the truth,” he added, “and parents across the state have the right to know that their children can attend our schools without fear of this reprehensible behavior.”



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פרסום ראשון: 11.09.13, 11:47
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