A Connecticut school student was allegedly the target of a January 22 assault due to his Jewish religion.
Orit Avizov said that her son had been the victim of a “serious assault” in comments to a school board meeting in Branford, Connecticut, according to the Branford Eagle.
Avizov told local television station WTNH: “[The student] slammed his head in the locker, he got him knocked down to the ground, he started kicking him and punching him in his stomach and his ribs. This child started yelling, ‘kill the Jew, kill the Jew, kill the Jew’ while he's attacking my son.”
At the school board meeting where Avizov spoke, a total of eight people expressed their disapproval at the way bullying had been handled by the local district.
“Branford Public Schools is committed to ensuring each school maintains a safe environment for all students,” Branford Public Schools Inspector Hamlet Hernandez said in a May 23 statement, the New Haven Register reports. “The district strongly condemns inappropriate behavior toward any student, including bullying, violence and racial attacks. All claims of misconduct or prohibited behavior are investigated and addressed in a timely, thorough and judicious manner by the administration.”
Citing federal law, he said no details could be provided. But he emphasized Avizov’s allegations had been acted upon.
"While we cannot comment regarding actions taken concerning any specific student," Hernandez continued in his statement, "the Branford Public Schools can assure the community that the situation at Branford Intermediate School that has recently been the subject of public comments has been reviewed carefully and thoroughly by the administration."
The school district reportedly began drafting a bullying plan in January 2011. It involved parents, teachers and students in consultations.
However, another person who spoke at the public meeting described the situation as creating a “hostile environment,” according to the Eagle. She alleged that the unwillingness of the board to label the attack on Avizov’s son a hate crime was because it would have political consequences.
Hernandez said in an interview after the meeting that no hate crime had been committed.
“I’m confident our schools are safe,” he added.