US/World News

Boston Catholic high apologizes for antisemitic taunts

(JTA) — A Boston-area Catholic boys’ school apologized for some of its students chanting an antisemitic taunt at a basketball game with a predominantly Jewish public high school. “You killed Jesus,” students from Catholic Memorial School in West Roxbury, Mass., shouted at Friday night, March 11, during a game with Newton North High School. In response, the Newton fans fell silent in shock and anger, the Boston Globe reported. The city of Newton, a Boston suburb, is about one-third Jewish.

“Catholic Memorial School is deeply disturbed by the behavior of a group of student spectators who made an unacceptable chant Friday night while playing Newton North High School,” Catholic Memorial President Peter Folan said in a statement the day after. “Catholic Memorial School believes deeply that intolerance, of any kind, is unacceptable. We apologize for the actions of our students and we will continue to strenuously address this issue within our community.” The Catholic Memorial students were reprimanded and each personally apologized to the principal and shook his hand, according to the Globe.

Newton Superintendent David Fleishman called the statement “chilling.” “In my mind, this is incredibly upsetting and troubling, and they have a lot of work to do at Catholic Memorial,” Fleishman told the Boston Globe. Fleishman also acknowledged that Newton students made offensive statements about the fact that no girls attend Catholic Memorial. Catholic Memorial beat Newton North, 77-73, in a division championship game.

The chanting came one day after Cardinal Sean O’Malley, speaking at Temple Emanuel in Newton, called for Catholics and Jews to “build a civilization of love.”

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