It seems that rabid anti-Semitism is on the rise in the United States. On Sunday, EAG News reported that Joshua VanderJagt, principal of Ogden International School in Chicago, asked to be reassigned after reports that two Jewish students were bullied because of their heritage, citing a report at DNAInfo Chicago.
Lisa Wolf Clemente, a parent of two boys attending the school, said her 14-year-old son was shown pictures of ovens, told to put on striped pajamas as Nazi concentration camp prisoners were forced to do, and crawl inside the oven. Her younger son, a student at the school’s Streeterville Campus, was invited to join a team called “Jew Incinerator” on the game app Clash of Clans.
The team was reportedly created by eighth graders at the campus, DNAInfo said. The team proudly proclaims itself to be racist and even offered the Nazi salute.
“We are a friendly group of racists with one goal — put all Jews into an army camp until disposed of,” the team description reads, according to a screenshot provided by parents. “Sieg! Heil!”
The bullies were suspended for two days, one in school and one day out of school after an investigation by VanderJagt. They were also banned from “eighth grade graduation ceremonies,” Kyle Olson said. According to a CPS spokesman, the punishment was VanderJagt’s decision and was supported by the school district.
But some parents said the school hasn’t done enough to deter bullying. They also started a petition demanding VanderJagt be fired or forced to resign. That petition has 414 signatures as of this writing.
“Principal VanDer Jagt of Ogden International School failed to report more than one case of severe bullying,” the petition says. “He knew of more than one student at Ogden being bullied with agressive verbal attacks in school, racial and anti-semitic slurs as well as continuous cyber bullying.”
The petition also says VanderJagt “was notified by the victimized student’s parents in all cases” and “decided to do nothing in all cases. This is a direct violation of CPS code, policies and Illinois Laws governing how schools are required to respond in cases of bullying. He is not a leader and should not be given the privilege to watch over and lead the kids of Chicago. Please support us in having him fired so we can find someone who is a better candidate to lead our children.”
VanDerJagt, however, asked to be reassigned. Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett said in a statement Friday that she has granted his request.
“I agree with Mr. VanderJagt that the students, parents and the school community will be best served by a new principal of their choosing,” she said. “He recognized that his continued leadership of the school would be a distraction and prolong the healing process for the school community.”