'Culture of antisemitism' in NY town alarms governor - KMSP-TV

'Culture of antisemitism' in NY town alarms governor

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One student was allegedly beaten with a hockey stick. Another reportedly had a swastika forcibly drawn on her face.

Some residents of the small town of Bloomingburg, just west of Newburgh N.Y. find it all hard to believe.

Michelle Horton, a resident, says everyone is created equal. “Everyone helps everybody out,everybody is friends with everybody" he said.

The allegations are so alarming, Governor Andrew Cuomo has launched a full investigation into the culture of antisemitism in the Pine Bush central School District.

The investigation comes after three parents filed a lawsuit on behalf of their children in March 2012.

Ilann Mazzel is the attorney who represents the families.

"They have been through so much they have been traumatized,” Mazel said. “They have been alone for so many years and it has to give them some sort of solace that someone out there cares."

The lawsuit claims over 30 students harassed their Jewish classmates by physically and verbally assaulting them, for years.

Pictures provided by the family attorney show swastikas and symbols of hate inside of the school.

Parents say they showed them to the superintendent.

According to the attorney for the parents, the superintendent’s response was that the expectations for overcoming prejudice were unrealistic and he suggested to one family that they move.

The Governor has ordered the State Police and the Division of Human Rights to investigate the acts in the school district.

Mazel says he intends for this case to go to trial if the school is unable to reform itself"

The superintendent of schools would not comment on the lawsuit but did say bullying is not tolerated in the school district. According to her, every year students and teachers have to sit through presentations that promote acceptance for all.

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