INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – An incident of anti-Semitism is under investigation at Pike High School.
School officials said they were aware of the graffiti being drawn in a boy’s restroom and responded immediately to have it removed. A family of a Pike student sent in photos to FOX59 that showed four swastikas on bathroom mirrors and a counter top.
“Behavior such as this violates our human dignity and anti-discrimination policies and our core values,” said MSD of Pike Township Communications Director, Sarah Dorsey. “It is completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated in our schools.”
The news is difficult for the Indianapolis Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC).
“It’s happening more and more,” said JCRC executive director Lindsey Mintz. ” The JCRC probably gets one or two calls a month from families who have had something in a classroom, through social media, between students.”
Mintz said local Jewish offices recently conducted a survey, gathering details from people who practice in the faith in the area. It found that roughly a third of all students experienced an act of anti-Semitism in the past year.
This summer, two males were arrested after leaving anti-Semitic remarks on a synagogue in Carmel.
Mintz said their research shows that incidents in public areas are becoming less common while more comments attacking their faith are taking place in schools.
“Unfortunately, when I receive an early morning phone call from a Jewish community member, I can pretty well guess what the nature of the phone call is,” said Mintz. “Personally, my heart sinks for a quick second.”
Mintz said her office can offer a variety of help to families who feel attacked or threatened and help offices or organizations that have an anti-Semitic incident.
The JCRC already works with Jewish teenagers and has them speak to classrooms, especially ones with a low, or no, Jewish population.
“It helps students realize Jewish teens are just like me,” Mintz said.
The leader of the JCRC said leaders and people who can discipline those who make anti-Semitic comments need to take action to help put an end to this kind of hate speech.
“When anti-Semitism starts to get a pass, it’s a real problem and should be a real concern for everybody, whether you’re Jewish or not,” said Mintz.