New Jersey Student Filing Anti-Semitism Lawsuit Cites Harassment and Swastikas
April 10, 2020
In March, a Jewish student filed a federal lawsuit against her high school claiming the Marine Academy of Science and Technology (MAST) in Middletown, New Jersey, failed to take proactive action and protect her in the face of regular anti-Semitic harassment.
The Jewish plaintiff, Paige (last-name withheld), felt that she was the “target of this shocking anti-Semitism, which hurt her deeply,” the suit says.
The main event reported in the lawsuit took place in 2018 when a MAST student sent a photo to her and 17 other classmates of another student lying on the beach with the words “I H8 JEWS” written in the sand according to the New York Post.
When Paige reported the anti-Semitic photo to school authorities she was called a “snitch” by many of her classmates. Consequently, when the students responsible for taking the photo were suspended by the school, her schoolmates at MAST began coordinating “a large-scale and explicitly coordinated campaign of retribution,” according to the lawsuit.
In one example of retribution, a classmate placed a rock close to Paige’s desk with the words “Adolf” written on it. In another example, an online petition called “snub the snitch” was launched and disseminated to students in the school.
The lawsuit claimed that overnight, Paige, went from “being a happy, successful, and well-liked student to a pariah.”
Yet, these were just the culmination of numerous anti-Semitic incidents that took place at the school according to the suit. In one instance, students made fun of her last name calling her “Jew Fray” causing her teacher to agree with the bullies saying “I wouldn’t want a last name like that.” In another instance, students were regularly seen reading “Mein Kampf” and scribbling swastikas on school property. Events that school administrators allegedly did not act upon.
Paige was ultimately forced to drop out of school at the end of her junior year despite a 4.0 GPA as a result of the anti-Semitic bullying which led to the lawsuit
The Monmouth County Vocational School District replied to Paige’s lawsuit in an official statement, saying, “The District takes every reported allegation of bias, harassment, intimidation and bullying seriously and promptly investigates reported incidents.”
In response, Paige’s lawyer responded saying that the “school officials do not appear to appreciate the seriousness of their failure to provide an appropriate educational environment, so now a jury will decide whether they broke the law.”