Boston-area school reports anti-Semitic graffiti in aftermath of chants at basketball game


(JTA) — Three incidents of anti-Semitic graffiti have been reported at a predominantly Jewish public high school in suburban Boston since fans of an opposing Catholic school basketball team shouted anti-Semitic chants during a championship game.

The graffiti at Newton North High School in Newton, Massachusetts, includes swastikas, according to local reports.

Police were immediately informed of the graffiti and are working to find the perpetrator, interim Newton North principal Mark Aronson said in a letter to parents Wednesday, the Boston Globe reported. The Globe also said that anti-Semitic graffiti was found in the high school’s bathroom in December and racist incidents occurred in the run-up to last month’s Black Culture Day.

On March 11, students from Catholic Memorial School in West Roxbury  shouted “You killed Jesus” during the division title game against Newton North. The chants reportedly were in response to those about Catholic Memorial being an all-boys school, including “Where are your girls?” and “sausage-fest,” which conjured images of male anatomy.

Newton School Superintendent David Fleishman told the Boston Globe that police are investigating whether there is any relationship between the chants and the latest graffiti incident, but said there is no evidence to suggest that Catholic Memorial students were responsible.

The Catholic Memorial students were reprimanded and each personally apologized to the Newton North principal and shook his hand immediately following the game. Earlier this week, Catholic Memorial students were banned by their school administration from attending a state semifinal basketball game because of the chants.

A Newton middle school has been the target of at least three incidents of anti-Semitic graffiti since October, including one last month. Parents were not notified promptly of the first two incidents, for which the school’s principal has apologized.

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