Anti-Semitic remarks keep students from graduation ceremony
Three 8th graders will not graduate on stage because they made anti-Semitic remarks to another student.
That happened at Ogden International School in Chicago’s West Town neighborhood.
Friday is the last day of school there and 8th grade graduation is set for Saturday morning.
But three graduates won’t be there because they bullied a Jewish classmate.
They were originally just going to be suspended, but that was changed to a harsher punishment of missing graduation.
The victim’s mother, Lisa Wolf Clemente, appears to be more upset with school principal Joshua Vander Jagt.
“It’s not about my son,” Clemente said. “What I’m really upset about is the way it was handled.”
“(Vander Jagt) continues to lie and lie and lie. It’s disturbing. It’s disgusting. It’s a slap to the Jewish community’s face. Stand up and say you didn’t recognize and then we can move on. Don’t say you acted immediately because you did not,” Clemente said.
Clemente says Principal Vander Jagt further mishandled this case with a safety plan that requires security escorts for her son.
At a public hearing Thursday, she noted that her son was the one under threat and is not a threat to others.
She says her 14 year old son went through months of anti-Semitic rants at school and online.
She says he was also taunted with pictures from concentration camps.
Chicago Board of Education Vice President Jesse Ruiz attended the hearing and says more action will be taken if necessary.
School district officials say the students behind the bullying wrote letters of apology to Clemente’s son.
The incidents happened as the students were learning about the holocaust.