Sixth-graders face discipline for 'Hit a Jew Day'
Hit a Jew Day gets 6th graders in trouble.
Sixth-grade students from Parkway West Middle School in Chesterfield, St. Louis are going to be disciplined for creating 'Hit a Jew Day' or 'Slap a Jew Day', and then going around hitting Jewish classmates.
About four or five students could be suspended and made to undergo counseling for the incident that involved taunting Jewish students and encouraged others to take part.
About 10 Jewish students were involved. One was slapped in the face, while others on their backs and shoulders.
"There is a mix of sadness and outrage," said district spokesman Paul Tandy. "The concern is a lot of kids knew about it and they didn't take action or say anything."
It began with an unofficial "Spirit Week" among sixth-graders that started harmlessly enough with a "Hug a Friend Day." Then there was "High Five Day."
Soon, though, the days moved from friendly to silly. Next there was "Hit a Tall Person Day" and, finally, "Hit a Jew Day."
Principal Linda Lelonek told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch she learned about the incidents Monday and called an assembly Tuesday morning.
"What's tomorrow going to be? 'Hit A Principal Day?'" she asked.
Karen Aroesty, St. Louis regional director of the Anti-Defamation League, said this was more than a case of bullying. Her group is meeting tomorrow with district leaders.
"It is shocking and distressing to see anti-Semitism acted out by middle school students," Aroesty said a statement. "Our schools and schoolyards are places where respect and understanding should be the norm. We appreciate that administrators are responding swiftly and look forward to working with Parkway West Middle School to turn these incidents into teachable moments that will resonate both in the classroom and at home."
The students will be studying the Holocaust later in the year.