Chicago public school principal reassigned after anti-Semitic bullying


(JTA) — A Chicago public school principal has asked to be reassigned over anti-Semitic bullying at his school.

Principal Joshua VanderJagt of the Ogden International School on Chicago’s North Side will be reassigned, Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett said in a statement released Friday. “I agree with Mr. VanderJagt that the students, parents and the school community will be best served by a new principal of their choosing.”

Some parents at the school believed VanderJagt’s response to the anti-Semitic bullying among eighth graders came too late. A petition calling for his resignation also has been circulated, according to local media reports.

A Jewish student in the eighth grade told his mother several months ago that classmates showed him photos of ovens and told him to put on striped pajamas and get in. The students later formed a team for the online game Clash of the Clans, calling themselves “Jew Incinerator.”

“Heil! Throw Jews into ovens for a cause. We are a friendly group of racists with one goal — put all Jews into an army camp until disposed of,” the team’s introduction read.

The students later were suspended from school for one to two days and banned from graduation ceremonies.

Letters sent home to parents encouraged them to talk about bullying but did not mention anti-Semitism, Fox News Chicago reported.

The principal held a forum for parents on May 29, the same day that the eighth graders made a field trip to the Holocaust museum in Skokie, Ill.


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