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Missouri Students to be Punished For "Hit a Jew Day"

Missouri Students to be Punished For "Hit a Jew Day"

Four students at a St. Louis area school are facing punishment after allegedly participating in "Hit a Jew Day." Apparently part of an unofficial "Spirit Week" the sixth graders started innocently with "Hug a Friend Day," and it progressed through "Hit a Tall Person Day" to the decidedly less silly "Hit a Jew Day."

School officials think fewer than 10 of the school's 35 Jewish students were actually hit. The perpetrators of the spirit gone wrong are facing suspension and could be required to go to counseling. A school spokesman says, "There is a mix of sadness and outrage. The concern is a lot of kids knew about it and they didn't take action or say anything." The Anti-Defamation League says the incident is more than just bullying and are meeting with school officials today.

Is this school hijinks gone awry with kids who don't know the true meaning? Or something much more dangerous?

Source

Shadowdamage Shadowdamage 8 years
Ouch :( But its great that you had such a wise teacher right at that moment, I just wish all kids had that voice of reason to reassure them when confronted with ignorance.
Briandiesel Briandiesel 8 years
I think that in todays society racism is not really an "issue" in the way that it was back in the 60's. My parents grew up during that time and were "taught" to accept people who were different and to not speak out in hate. When I was little, I recognized that some of my friends were "different" than I was, but I never thought anything more of it or ever called them anything other than their name. I think now kids growing up are even more "unfazed" by the racial differences and feel that its almost silly to label someone. I think in a way this has been blown completely out of proportion. I do think that the children should/will be dealt with. The parents should be talked to by the administration and told that this wont be tolerated again. Expulsion is ridiculous. When I was little a girl told me that I needed to quit acting like a girl and act like a boy. I was 7 and destroyed. I told my teacher and she looked me in the eye and told me that some people are mean and some people are just ignorant in the way they deal with people who are different. At 7, that seemed so amazing and real. I quit crying immediately and realized that she wasn't mean on purpose, she was just ignorant. Stuck with me.
Blackwidowchick Blackwidowchick 8 years
I kinda see what jessie is trying to say. There are certain things in the past (I'm not talking about 1990 either but wayyyyyyy before then) that were socially acceptable that is now unacceptable and vice versa. Racism used to be accepted in this country, but nowadays kids SHOULD know better that it is NOT okay. It looks like kids today are going to have to be taught younger and younger how to project themselves and how to treat their fellow man before they learn hate on their own.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
that's really hurtful to me and my family and quite a few other people. i think that people sometimes don't realize what they are saying and doing - but that's just out of hand, and i hope that those kids get punished. there's no excuse for that.
Nyrina-Windu Nyrina-Windu 8 years
One of these teachers had to know something earlier on. And the school should NOT leave the punishment to ONLY the parents. Some of the parents probably teach hatred at home, so they would never punish their kids for what they did in school. The school should punish these children. The principle should also address the school body, with the whole faculty, and discuss the current 'Hit a Jew Day' situation, low tolerance for violence, racism, and what spirit week is supposed to truly be about at a school. If the students are not mature enough to come up with decent themes for spirit week, then the principle alone or someone at the board of education should do it for them. But this type of behavior cannot be tolerated.
awkwardturtle awkwardturtle 8 years
how exactly do 6th graders come up with this? and where were the parents and teachers?!
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 8 years
choochoo I agree w/ your "rant."
sushibananas sushibananas 8 years
Good question, choochoo. How about the 'guilty' students/parents make a public apology to all the parents and kids at a school assembly? Parent-student-school counselor meeting(s)? Something that lets it sink in with the parents that they, too, are responsible for their kids' actions.
CHOOCHOO CHOOCHOO 8 years
Explain how and why a parent should be punished?
sushibananas sushibananas 8 years
Unfortunately, kids don't pick up on these types of attitudes or ideas all on their own. Parents, the media - we "big" people who are supposed to be adults - pass this on to them. We have no one to blame but ourselves. Some of you suggested that the parents receive punishment. I couldn't agree more!
CHOOCHOO CHOOCHOO 8 years
What I want to know is this: Why can't we allow the school and parents to deal with this and get the full story before a news agency posts the 'half-full story' on their website? In my opinion, that is so irresponsible! When I read a story from a news agency, I fully expect that they've done their research and know what the heck they're writing about. Obviously not the case here... Just a sensational story that results in page hits from all over the country. That's what's wrong with the news these days. They find a single source and run with it. Same with that idiot that got 'beat up' for McCain. Of course, she's being publicly shamed for being an idiot, but I could've done without that story. Anyway... I had to rant.
lorenashley lorenashley 8 years
wtfh!? this is sick, sad and pathetic. smdh. 6th graders?? omg...wow.
Shadowdamage Shadowdamage 8 years
I thought about this awhile and I hope Juju's explanation turns out to be the right one...it actually sounds more credible to me than a wave of 12-year-old Neo-Nazism mysteriously sweeping "Missourah". As for something like "South Park" being to blame, well..I don't know...I mean, any person watching it I should hope has the common sense to know what is satire/humour and what is not...and if they don't, then their parents either need to teach them, or they have no business watching it to begin with! (I can't speak for any other 12 year old - but when I was 12, I knew better. The school didn't need to teach me that value, my parents did.) Then again, I wouldn't teach a child that hitting one race or religion is wrong...I would teach that hitting ANYONE is wrong.
Karen-S Karen-S 8 years
Albeit the fact that is is horrible, I can see this happening. There has been a sudden craze with many adult programs making fun of Jewish people. South Park, for example (I actually like this show, though). Although these are targeted for adults, and should be taken as a joke, many children watch these and think "Oh, wow, making fun of Jews is funny!". I really doubt these kids are neo-nazis, though, or you would have been hearing about them beating up Jewish kids and not just hitting them a lot sooner.
rickimc rickimc 8 years
I heard about this incident from one of my Jewish friends, who called it "wrong but funny." I know a number of students from that school as I work in Chesterfield, and I think this was just a joke that escalated too far. I think it did not need to make national news, as if you are familiar with the area and the people in it, you could see how what Juju said could be perfectly possible.
Pinkmariposa Pinkmariposa 8 years
I find this sad. There was no reason for this and the punishment should include the school. How could the teachers be so unaware of what was going on. I find it horrible that so many kids knew and did or said NOTHING. Of course this maybe the reason the teachers and staff were unaware. Missouri schools seem to be in the news and not in a good way lately. Recently some kids were being tested for HIV due to one child stating there had been some type of contact with at least 50 other kids so all had to be tested, St Louis area. Columbia MO kids got into big fight and officers slammed some girl around on floor she was only trying to break up fight. Hickman in Columbia, MO at that same school some kid brought a gun to a football game etc... There just needs to be more $$$ to put into schools and staff to keep these kids engaged in school.
Jillness Jillness 8 years
In regards to my previous comment, I am saying that it ads context if it was just a group of kids goofing around with themselves, then it is ok. Of course I don't condone serious violence, but I also know boys and they tend to rough house.
Jillness Jillness 8 years
Wow, Juju that was really insightful! Are you finding more sources that suggest that it was started by the Jewish students themselves, or has it still only been the one so far? That certainly ads a different context of the story. In a way, I hope that version is right because the thought of a group mentality encouraging violence against another group at this age is terrifying. It kind of hints at "Lord of the Flies".
margokhal margokhal 8 years
The article says that this was an *unofficial* "Spirit Week". When WE had "Spirit Week" in middle and high school [not really THAT long ago for me], it was ALWAYS orchestrated or at least approved by the school administration. I don't think the administration trusted students enough to build their OWN "Spirit Week" themes precisely because they were afraid things like THIS ["Hit a Jew" Day? Come on!] would come up, and they'd get sued. Was it the student body or student council that put this together, then, or just a rogue bunch of kids? Find out why these kids did this, and address the issue appropriately. Counseling is definitely in order, I think.
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 8 years
juju-I was actually thinking, "oh some kid watched something stupid on South Park, and didn't realize that jokes on South Park do NOT translate into real life humor." Of course, they could be neo-nazis, though what you read seems to suggest perhaps not. I think this will be an eye-opening experience for them though.
juju4 juju4 8 years
I am in STL and I am also a member of the Jewish community out here, so I have been looking into this for a day or two. From what I gather, it started off as a tap on the shoulder, and one article I read actually suggested that it was some Jewish students that were friends that started it. I think that these students are in the age range where what makes you different really begins to be explored, and maybe some kids were getting bar or bat mitzvahed. Maybe it was a kid making a self-depricating joke and someone took it too far. I do think it is awful, but I don't necessarily think that I can assume that the kids have horrible parents or that the kids are neo-nazis in the making. I think they made a joke and probably didn't understand the ramifications of what would happen. I also read that they are scheduled to study the holocaust later this year, and that the teachers expect that the lessons will have a greater impact on the students because of what has happened.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
This is horrible. Why are they only "facing suspension"? What is this country coming to? Is this what we want from the educational system that we diligently pay for?
Advah Advah 8 years
"Facing suspension" and that's it?! This is disgusting.
laurenj laurenj 8 years
This is just plain awful...I simply can't imagine being one of those young Jewish children wondering why my classmates are targeting me for the object of their enjoyment...because I was born into a family of a particular faith? Oh, how hurtful. I know that because of the psyche of children, they tend to be more hurtful (often unintentionally)and offensive to others, and perhaps these children were unaware that this behavior isn't funny, but I hope they intend to have a sit down with all of the students and parents and provide cultural awareness teaching to help educate these students on the appropriate treatment of others who may be, and often are, different.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 8 years
This sucks. But I don't think they should be expelled. They should be shamed. I think that there was "group think" involved and people didn't really understand what they were doing. I guess I'd think differently if it weren't 6th grade but that's just so young.
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