Cobb school board member questions district’s response to anti-Semitism

Board of Trustees Chairman David Chastain told AJC on Friday that he could not comment on student discipline issues. He said the The East Cobb Middle School incident has been addressed by school officials, which means the system is working.

“I’m really heartbroken when I hear about incidents like this in the school district,” he said. “But most of the time we hear about it, we hear it’s still being treated.”

Legend

Claudia Rolam, wrapped in the Israeli flag, protests outside a Cobb County school board meeting last fall after anti-Semitic vandalism was uncovered at two high schools. Rolam is a member of Temple Emanuel in Atlanta. (Ben Gray for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Ben Gray

Claudia Rolam, wrapped in the Israeli flag, protests outside a Cobb County school board meeting last fall after anti-Semitic vandalism was uncovered at two high schools.  Rolam is a member of Temple Emanuel in Atlanta.  (Ben Gray for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Ben Gray

callout arrowLegend

Claudia Rolam, wrapped in the Israeli flag, protests outside a Cobb County school board meeting last fall after anti-Semitic vandalism was uncovered at two high schools. Rolam is a member of Temple Emanuel in Atlanta. (Ben Gray for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Ben Gray

Credit: Ben Gray

Chastain also said that decisions about programs like No Place For Hate are made by school district officials, not elected school board members.

Graffiti of swastikas and anti-Semitic language were found in bathrooms at Pope and Lassiter High Schools last September in the middle of the major Jewish holidays. The district was criticized at the time for not using the phrase “anti-Semitism” in its initial response to the Pope High School incident.

In October, the board passed a resolution denouncing racism and anti-Semitism. Two of the three black council members, including Howard, voted against the resolution. They raised concerns about including racism in the resolution without addressing efforts to rename high schools named after Confederate military leaders. Their proposed amendments were not included in the final resolution.

To exploreCobb students accused of anti-Semitic graffiti will face disciplinary charges

Following this week’s incident involving students at East Cobb Middle, Principal Leetonia Young’s message to parents emphasized that such behavior will not be tolerated.

“I am saddened and extremely disappointed that some of our students are engaging in such ugly and disruptive behavior,” she said.

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