Moral Low Ground


‘Jew Incinerator’: Anti-Semitic Bullying Rocks Chicago School

Three eighth grade students have been suspended as part of an investigation of alleged anti-Semitic bullying at a Chicago public school.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports Chicago Public Schools (CPS) is investigating accusations against several students at Ogden International School in West Town.

Mother Lisa Wolf Clemente said her 14-year-old son informed her months ago that schoolmates targeted him in Spanish class and during lunch breaks, showing him photos of ovens and telling him to put on striped pajamas and get in.

Students are also accused of forming an anti-Semitic team in the popular online video game “Clash of Clans” and naming it “Jew Incinerator.” They then invited their victim’s 8-year-old brother to join the team.

“Heil! Throw the Jews in an oven for a cause,” the team’s introduction read, according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. “We are a friendly group of racists with one goal– put all Jews into an army camp until disposed of. Sieg! Heil!”

Clemente is also upset that Ogden eighth graders went on a field trip to the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center in Skokie last Thursday, and “not one person addressed the correlation between the Holocaust museum and my son.” She says school officials missed the opportunity for a teachable moment.

Clemente feels the school isn’t doing enough to punish the students who abused her son.

“A one-day suspension? For boys who tormented my son for months?” she told the Chicago Tribune. “Does that make any sense?”

CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett said the district “will never tolerate bullying or harassment by any student in any school.”

“As a district we are committed to ensuring safe school environments in which every child feels secure, comfortable and respected,” Byrd-Bennett wrote in an email. “The principal at Ogden International School has… taken the appropriate actions to ensure this is a teachable moment for our children.”

Officials from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), an organization dedicated to fighting anti-Semitism, visited the school on Wednesday.

“This is… something that has been very painful for the target, the target’s family, the parents in the community and really for the greater community,” Jessica Gall of the ADL told WLS. “It’s had a ripple effect.”

Clemente says other parents gave her the following advice on how to deal with her son’s bullying: “Maybe if my son just told the other kids that he was not Jewish and was Christian, he wouldn’t have this problem,” she told CBS Chicago. “God bless America.”

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