Published January 21, 2011
Up to 37 students are facing possible high school suspensions for participating in ‘Kick a Jew Day’ -- an incident where members of Vestal, N.Y.’s Jewish community were kicked by their classmates during school hours.
Mike Rotondi, assistant principal at Vestal High School, called parent Gordon Gardner about his 14-year-old son’s behavior, who is one of the students facing disciplinary action, the Press & Sun-Bulletin reports. Gardner said Rotondi told him the students were emulating a prank inspired by the animated television show “South Park.”
The show ran an episode entitled “Kick a Ginger Day” in 2005, which eventually morphed into 'Kick a Jew Day' through Facebook invites and events, school officials said.
Michael Wright, chairman of community relations for the Jewish Federation of Broome County, said according to reports he received, some students thought the event was done "in jest" and was "fun," although others did not.
"I have not the slightest indication that anyone was stomped or injured or it was anything beyond casual kicks," he said to the Press & Sun-Bulletin.
Vestal Central School District administrators are currently investigating the incident.