High School teacher suspended over Swastika incident in Massachusetts

The student was enrolled in a Holocaust course at the time of the swastika incident.

By JTA
February 3, 2017 23:45
1 minute read.
swastika

Swastika spraypainted on a wall at a Jewish fraternity house near UC Davis. (photo credit: YOUTUBE SCREENSHOT)

A Massachusetts high school teacher who rescinded a college recommendation letter of a student who taped a swastika on a wall of the school and slurred Jews has been suspended.

The Stoughton High teacher began serving her 20-day suspension last week. The teacher was disciplined not for rescinding the recommendation but for telling the college why, The Enterprise newspaper reported Thursday, citing the teachers union.

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Two other teachers there — one who spoke about the incident in her classroom and another who spoke to her colleagues and an individual student about the incident — were reprimanded, the local media reported.

The town of Stoughton is located about 17 miles from Boston.

In late November, a male student made a swastika out of tape on the wall while decorating the halls after school. A Jewish student who witnessed him making the swastika told him it was offensive and asked him to take it down. The student responded with an offensive remark about the Jews and Hitler, the Boston Globe reported.

The student who made the swastika was enrolled in the school’s Holocaust course at the time of the incident, according to The Enterprise. He reportedly was disciplined by the school. His parents filed complaints against the teachers who discussed the case, saying he already had been punished.

Local authorities did not classify the incidents as hate crimes.

The incident, the suspension and the reprimands were made public last week by the teachers union, according to reports. The school district said it has not made the incidents public due to possible litigation “related to matters of civil rights.”

The teachers through their union complained at a meeting last week that it took several days before the school dealt with the issue and gave them the tools to deal with the incident.

A training session was later held with the Anti-Defamation League, according to reports.


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