U.S. Attorney’s Office Investigates Anti-Semitism in N.Y. School District


Recent reports of anti-semitism in Pine Bush, N.Y., schools have led the U.S. attorney’s office to open an investigation, according to the New York Times.

The school district’s lawyer received a letter from the U.S. attorney’s office saying that it is investigating to see if the school district “discriminated against students on the basis of national origin and religion.”

The Times reported:

The New York Times reported on Friday that some Jewish students in the Pine Bush schools were subjected in recent years to anti-Semitic bullying and slurs and other intimidation.

The activity grew so severe that three families last year sued the school system in Federal District Court in White Plains, charging that their children’s rights were being violated by “rampant anti-Semitic discrimination and harassment” and “deliberate indifference” by administrators. The district, which is about 90 minutes north of New York City, serves 5,600 children from Orange, Sullivan and Ulster Counties.

The Times article cited a middle-school student who said he was punched repeatedly by other students on a ride home from a school-sponsored ski trip, after he had been asked whether he were Jewish and he said yes. It also cited two complaints since 2011 about anti-Semitic behavior in a Pine Bush middle school that were received by the Jewish Federation of Greater Orange County. A federation volunteer has visited the schools twice to make presentations about tolerance, to teachers and then to students.