A Catholic school in Boston barred its students from attending their team’s state basketball semifinal contest on Monday after some of them taunted rival fans on Friday night with anti-Semitic chants, The Washington Post reported on Monday.
"You killed Jesus," basketball fans from the all-boys Catholic Memorial School in West Roxbury shouted at peers from the Boston-area Newton North High School at a game held on Saturday, the Boston Globe newspaper reports. Newton North, located in a Boston suburb, is known to have many Jewish students.
Parents of Catholic Memorial students had defended the chant as retaliation for what they considered crude, homophobic chants, which North Newton fans and hurled at their children, according to the Post.
Catholic Memorial officials reacted swiftly, as students who had been at the game had to personally apologize to the interim principal of Newton North, Mark Aronson, and to shake his hand, the Post reported.
Boston Catholic rallied to defeat Cambridge 67-64 in their semifinal matchup Monday night at TD Garden, where the Boston Celtics play.
The school released a statement on Tuesday, published in the Boston Globe, stated that officials were taking steps “both immediate and long-term, to ensure that the incident involving anti-Semitic chanting Friday night becomes an opportunity to better educate our students about intolerance.”
Aronson spoke to Newton North students on Monday about their behavior, the Post reported. Newton has “its own work to do” regarding student conduct at games, according to Newton Public Schools Superintendent David Fleishman.
Aronson talked with students about the impact of their cheers, such as “Sausage fest,” which Catholic Memorial fans took as gay insults, Fleishman said. “If they can learn that life lesson, that it’s impact, not intent, I feel we have accomplished something,” he added.