Catholic Memorial Students Chant Anti-Semitic Taunts at Game | NECN
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Catholic Memorial Students Chant Anti-Semitic Taunts at Game

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    Officials at Catholic Memorial School have apologized after some students chanted anti-Semitic taunts during a basketball game against a school with a large Jewish population. (Published Saturday, March 12, 2016)

    School officials are apologizing after a disturbing outbreak of anti-Semitism at a high school basketball game in Massachusetts.

    Boston's Catholic Memorial High School was playing Newton North High School Friday night. Students from Catholic Memorial started chanting "You killed Jesus."

    Newton has a large Jewish population.

    "I was shocked," said Robert Trestan of the Anti-Defamation League. "I was appalled and I almost couldn't believe what I was hearing."

    Trestan got a call from Newton Police, who told him the anti-Semitic remarks were made in response to chants from Newton North fans, including "Where are your girls?" and another tasteless phrase taunting fans of the all-boys school.

    Officials from both schools reportedly reacted quickly.

    "Catholic Memorial School is deeply disturbed by the behavior of a group of student spectators who made an unacceptable chant Friday night while playing Newton North High School," that school's president, Dr. Peter Folan, wrote in a statement. "Faculty and staff acted immediately to stop the behavior. At the conclusion of the game, CM students were reprimanded and each student personally apologized to the principal of Newton North High School and shook his hand before leaving the arena."

    "I know both schools deeply regret the events of last night," Newton Superintendent Dr. David Fleishman said in a statement. "The Newton North fans chanted something that was inappropriate and the CM students chanted something back that was highly insensitive and troubling. I am confident that the CM administration will address the incident with their students and I and the Newton North administration will as well."

    Trestan says that last point is key.

    "We need to take a look at what lead to this group of students - fans - to believe that this chant, 'you killed Jesus,' was appropriate," he said.

    Boston's Archdiocese also condemned the attack.

    "The Archdiocese wishes to make clear that the behavior of a number of students from Catholic Memorial at the game is unacceptable," the statement read. "We are pleased that the administration of Catholic Memorial took corrective action immediately during and after the basketball game."

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