Hit a Jew Day
by Luma, Wed Oct 22, 2008 at 11:21:26 PM EDT
(crossposted at kos)
Though I barely write any diarys or comments, I didn't see this anywhere and I'm still getting my mind around it.
A little bit of background...I grew up and still live in the St Louis area. We don't have much of a Jewish community. I remember when I was in school (in the 80's), there was only one Jewish girl in my class (that I knew of). Religious diversity is not very common here.
Tonight I was making dinner, half paying attention to the local news, when I heard something that I was just sure couldn't be true. After dinner, I went to my computer and looked it up. Yep...one of our local middle schools had spirit week this week and one of their special days was "hit a Jew day".
According to a Parkway School District representative, the students started with "Hug A Friend Day," moved to "High Five Day,""Hit A Tall Person Day," and then, finally, this Monday, to "Hit A Jew Day."
I'm sorry...I'm tall, and I'm offended by hit a tall person day...but HIT A JEW DAY?!? What the hell were these kids thinking? This just sickens me. First of all, it's not like we have this huge Jewish population...these kids probably already felt different and singled out because of their religion.
But wait...there's more!
The students generally were not being violent or aggressive, said Cathy Kelly, communications coordinator for the district, but instead just "tapping" the students singled out by the theme of the day. At least one student, however, did slap another student, Kelly said.
"It was almost like a tag thing," Principal Lelonek said. "But then it changed."
Is the principal really going there? Almost saying "Hey...the idea was no big deal". It seems as if she is just making excuses for them.
Educators said they do not believe the incident was done with hatred or prejudice.
There are fewer than 30 Jewish students at Parkway West Middle School, which has an enrollment of 850 students.
They don't believe it's done with prejudice. I'm dumbfounded. How can this be done without prejudice? I just don't understand. Maybe I'm just naive, but this just hit me in my gut. Thank you for letting me rant about this...my extreme anger has now turned into sadness. I just hope that the kids, parents, and school can truly understand how disgusting this was.
If you are interested, here is one number that you can call:
Dr. Robert Malito Superintendent of Schools
and here's an e-mail page for the administration:
and to the principal:
Online tool to e-mail Principal Lelonek