CPS investigating allegations of anti-Semitic bullying

Written By BY LAUREN FITZPATRICK Education Reporter Posted: 05/29/2014, 06:58am

Chicago Public Schools say they’re investigating allegations of anti-Semitic bullying by Ogden International School students and hosting a forum Thursday afternoon for parents at the West Town school.

CPS spokesman Joel Hood also said that several students identified as ringleaders and participants have been suspended from school for bullying an 8th grader who is Jewish, and for their involvement in an online game they played, calling themselves the Jew Incinerator.

“Chicago Public Schools is serious about providing safe learning environments for its students and does not tolerate any acts of bullying,” Hood said in a statement. “School administration and District officials are aware of the concerns and are investigating.”

But the mother of the 14-year-old, eighth grader still is upset, saying the district isn’t doing enough. She says she wasn’t allowed to bring her attorney to a meeting with the principal Thursday morning.

“He did not make us feel like our son was safe and the problem was taken care of,” she wrote in an email.

The eighth grader told his mother months ago that several kids at the west campus of the school targeted him at lunch and in Spanish class, showing him pictures of ovens and telling him to get in, said his mother’s friend and fellow Ogden parent Jory Strosberg. The child and his mother are Jewish, she said, adding that he was very upset about the bullying.

The others signed up on the online game Clash of Clans as the Jew Incinerator, writing, “Heil! Throw Jews into ovens for a cause,” she said. They also wrote, “We are a friendly group of racists with one goal — put all Jews into an army camp until disposed of. Sieg! Heil!”, using a Nazi greeting, according to screen shots of the game site.

The Sun-Times is not naming the children because they are juveniles.

After the child’s mother began calling parents of the others, one of the ringleaders wrote on the same site: “This COC clan is being reported for bein offensive at schoo. We need to shut it down or we can get in trouble.”

The mother took her concerns to the principal a few weeks ago. Her son still attends Ogden International.

A forum for parents is taking place at the school’s west campus Thursday at 4:30 p.m. It is not open to the public. Another meeting will be held at the east campus Friday afternoon, according to CPS.

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