A recent New York Times article concerning alleged cases of rampant anti-Semitism in one New York suburb's schools has led Governor Cuomo and Orange County leaders to start an investigation on the small town.
A lawsuit was filed by five students in Pine Bush, N.Y. that accused the school district of ignoring multiple instances of blatant anti-Jewish abuse. The five claimed they'd experienced deep trauma from being bullied both verbally and physically.
The suit alleges that the group has, on both individual and collective occasions, been called a slew of anti-Jewish slurs from their fellow students, including "dirty, disgusting Jew," "stupid Jew," "Christ killer," "Jesus hater," "Kike," "Ashes," and "Crispy." The latter two are references to burning Jewish people to death during the Holocaust, the complaint obtained by the Times reported. Additionally, anti-Semitic graffiti and images frequently were on display - students scrawled swastikas in school books, bathroom and hallway walls, desks, bleachers and playground equipment. Sometimes, these engravings would have the names of the five written inside.
"The swastikas and other anti-Semitic graffiti throughout the schools often remained for weeks or months, despite repeated complaints by Plaintiffs and/or their parents to have the graffiti removed," the case read.
Governor Cuomo said the allegations concerning "rampant anti-Semitic harassment and physical assaults at Pine Bush schools, if true, are deeply disturbing."
He's teamed up with Orange County Legislator Daniel Castricone, the New York Times reported, to call on the county's Human Rights Commission to probe the case.
"In my entire career in the legislature, I have been working here to make schools a safe place for the kids, to do everything I can with bullying and these kinds of issues, and to have swastikas and all of these anti-Semitic activity allegedly going on in one of our school is very troubling to me," Castricone stated. "If there is something we can do about it, I think we should do it."
The town reportedly has a history of racism - in the 1970s, some Ku Klux Klan members assembled in Pine Bush, where around 2,000 citizens currently reside. A member of the school board there was also said to be one of the KKK's main leaders.