Shalom Life | July 01, 2014

Clash of Clans anti Semitic?

Chicago officials are investigating if gamers are discriminating against Jewish students online

By: Graham Sigurdson

Published: June 2nd, 2014 in Business » World

Officials for the Chicago Public Schools system are investigating claims that eighth grade students at the Ogden International School of Chicago have been using the online game Clash of Clans to target a Jewish student, reported the Chicago Sun Times.

Lisa Wolfe Clemente, the mother of a 14-year-old at Ogden, noted that her son’s classmates had made a team called “Jew Incinerator,” writing that “We are a friendly group of racists with one goal – put all Jews into an army camp until disposed of.

Another team’s message read “Heil! Throw Jews into ovens for a cause.”

Though she said her son had been verbally harassed for almost six months, Clemente did not report the problem until two weeks ago when her younger son was invited to join the Clash of Clans group, at which time she saw the anti-Semitic messages.

NBC Chicago reported that several students identified as players had been suspended, but have already returned to school. Likewise, the Sun-Times reported that the Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett released a statement which read: “Chicago Public Schools will never tolerate bullying or harassment by any student in any school. As a District we are committed to ensuring safe school environments in which every child feels secure, comfortable, and respected. The principal at Ogden International High School has worked in cooperation with the network and central office to foster a larger community dialog around cultural sensitivity and has taken the appropriate actions to ensure this is a teachable moment for our children.”

Clemente and other parents at Ogden claim that the school has not responded to the issue in a serious enough manner, telling the Sun-Times that a forum held for parents focused on general bullying, and didn’t address the issues of anti-Semitism and hate crimes.

“Call it its name. They were racist, they were being anti-Semitic to my son,” said Clemente.

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