Friday, October 24, 2008

Missouri 6th Graders Disciplined for "Hit A Jew Day"

This story from USA Today simply defies all rational commentary:

Several sixth-graders from suburban St. Louis are being disciplined for creating "Hit a Jew Day" and then hitting Jewish classmates.

Four or five students at Parkway West Middle School in Chesterfield could be suspended and undergo counseling for last week's incident, school officials told the Associated Press. Others who taunted Jewish students or encouraged others to participate face lesser punishment.

Officials said fewer than 10 of the school's 35 Jewish students were hit. One was slapped in the face and the others were hit mostly on the back of their 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."

AP explains:

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."

This sort of conduct might be amusing on South Park. It is not when it comes to real-life American schoolyards.

- Garry J. Wise, Toronto

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