Two rival Massachusetts schools are taking action after students hurled taunts at one another, some anti-Semitic, during a basketball game Friday, with one school even barring students from attending Monday night's semifinal.
Students from Newton Noth High School taunted Catholic Memorial School on Friday by chanting "Where are your girls?" and "sausage fest" while facing off against the all-boys school. Catholic Memorial students responded by chanting "You killed Jesus" back at Newton, which has a large Jewish population.
Newton North Boys Varsity Basketball Captain Nate Hollenberg tweeted after the game that he was proud to play for Newton and proud to be Jewish.
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Officials from both schools reacted quickly. Catholic Memorial is holding a series of student assemblies to address the incident and said students are banned from Monday night's MIAA Division 1 semifinal game.
"Following a series of meetings over the weekend, Catholic Memorial School has begun to take steps, both immediate and long-term, to ensure that the incident involving anti-Semitic chanting Friday night becomes an opportunity to better educate our students about intolerance," the school said in a statement Monday.
In an earlier statement, Catholic Memorial's president, Dr. Peter Folan, said students were disciplined and required to personally apologize to the Newton principal and shake his hand.
"That was appreciated," said Newton Superintendent Dr. David Fleishman.
Fleishman, who called the back-and-forth chants "inappropriate" and "highly insensitive" in a statement over the weekend, said the principal addressed the incident with students Monday.
"He spoke to them about the fact that some people consider the chant insensitive and even homophobic," Fleishman explained. "And even if the definition of the chant may not be, that was the impact."
He said he's confident students will learn from the incident.
"Kids are going to make mistakes, sometimes serious nistakes, and our job as educators is to work with them and help them become productive citizens in our society, who, when they see an issue of discrimination or hurt, address it directly," he explained.
Both the Anti-Defamation League and the Archdiocese of Boston earlier condemned the chanting, calling the behavior "shocking" and "unacceptable."