Piedmont High School held an all-student assembly Monday to address recent anti-Semitic and racist incidents there.
Piedmont High has seen Nazi salutes in the hallway, a gym class dance routine in the shape of a swastika and anti-Semitic statements made directly to students such as “you’ll burn like your ancestors.”
According to the East Bay Times, Rabbi Mark Bloom of Temple Beth Abraham in Oakland said that “his 17-year old son, a junior at Piedmont High, told his father about several incidents — students giving ‘Heil Hitler’ salutes; students forming a dance routine in the shape of a swastika in gym class; and other students targeted for their ethnicity with racial slurs.”
The incidents, which have been occurring for several months, were first brought to the administration’s attention last month, KTVU reported, citing a letter sent from school leaders to students’ homes on Monday.
At the assembly, Bloom’s son read “a letter from another student who was hurt by anti-Semitic remarks and actions,” according to the East Bay Times.
Chief Jeremy Bowers of the Piedmont Police Department told the East Bay Times that the “police were not called in for support and briefings until the past week.”
“Our focus is to ascertain the safety of the students and determine if there were any hate incidents,” Bowers said.
Officials from the Piedmont Unified School District are investigating the incidents with help from police, according to the report.
Students of color told KTVU that they have been complaining about racial incidents throughout the entire school year and that the issue was only addressed once Jewish students complained.
Piedmont Unified School District Superintendent Randall Booker was not immediately available for comment on details of assembly.
J. recently filed a records request with Piedmont High School in connection with these incidents.
JTA contributed to this report.