U.S. attorney corroborates claim of anti-Semitism in upstate NY school
Students described finding swastikas drawn on school property, fellow students chanting “white power” and making Nazi salutes.
A lawsuit by three Jewish families in upstate New York against a local school for tolerating anti-Semitism has been reinforced by federal authorities, according to the New York Times.
A memorandum filed on Friday by the United States attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York found that the evidence collected in the case “is sufficient for a jury to find that the district failed to respond to pervasive anti-Semitic harassment in its schools” by taking required action under a civil rights law.
Jewish students in White Plains, N.Y., about 90 minutes north of New York City, maintained that they were subjected to anti-Semitic bullying, taunts and other forms of intimidation.
Students described finding swastikas drawn on walls, desks, lockers and other school property, and said some students on the bus chanted “white power” and made Nazi salutes.
A middle school student said he was punched repeatedly by other students on a bus ride home from a school-sponsored ski trip, after he was asked if he was Jewish and said yes.
The families’ lawsuit alleged that the children’s rights were being violated by “rampant anti-Semitic discrimination and harassment” and “deliberate indifference” by school administrators.
The Pine Bush Central School District has denied that it condoned anti-Semitism and has said it responded properly to such complaints. It has asked a federal judge in White Plains to grant summary judgment in favor of the defendants — the district, its board of education and current and former administrators.