Boston-area principal apologizes for failing to notify parents about 2 anti-Semitic incidents

Marcy Oster

(JTA) — The principal of a suburban Boston middle school apologized to parents for failing to notify them about two anti-Semitic incidents at the school, days after he notified them about a third incident.

The words “Burn the Jews” was written on the wall of a boys’ bathroom at the F.A. Day Middle School in Newton, Massachusetts, Brian Turner said in a letter sent home to parents over the weekend, the Boston Globe reported.

At a meeting Wednesday night with about 75 parents dealing with the lapses in communication about incidents in October and January, Turner apologized for not informing the community earlier, the Globe reported.

“In responding to the first two incidents, my big mistake was not promptly and publicly communicating about these incidents with the police, the superintendent, teachers, students, and parents,” the principal said.


“During the last three weeks my integrity’s been questioned, some people feel I’ve been insensitive to anti-Semitism, some people think I’ve lied, and others think that my explanations about the school’s response have been defensive and disingenuous. And for all of this I apologize,” he also said.

Some parents called for his resignation or his dismissal.

Parents were informed about the earlier incidents in a joint letter to the community by Superintendent David Fleishman and Mayor Setti Warren sent in mid-February.

Police were forwarded an anonymous letter on Feb. 22 informing them of the incidents. In the October incident, what is described as “hateful graffiti” was discovered on a bathroom wall. In January, a swastika was imprinted in the snow.

The school system is working with the Anti-Defamation League to educate faculty and students about anti-Semitism and hate rhetoric.

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