While “tolerance and inclusion are among the core principles” at Massachusetts’ Walpole High School, one female student said she doesn’t “give a (expletive)” about respecting her Jewish teachers and classmates.
On Monday, the student recorded herself in the school’s history wing, where she stole an Israeli flag and discarded it in trash chute. She then posted the video to social media, Boston.com reports.
In the 29-second video posted online, the female student in black recorded herself pulling the flag off a white wall, before crumpling it as she “opens her eyes wide while looking directly into the camera,” according to WFXT.
The recording continued as the student moved outside, where she unlocked the door to a trash chute and tossed the Israeli flag inside.
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“Guys my fingers slipped by accident … the Israel flag off the wall in the history wing I swear it was by accident (I don’t give a (expletive) tbh),” the social media post read, according to media reports.
The incident sparked plenty of comments online, where most were not sympathetic to the student’s perspective.
“These kids are too young to be so hateful,” Alex Kidd posted to X. “They’re being radicalized younger and younger.”
“That’s a hate crime,” another poster added.
“Her parents must be so proud of her,” Wayne Kerr wrote.
“She should be expelled,” Eddie Sullivan posted.
Walpole Public Schools Superintendent Bridget Gough responded to the backlash in a statement on Tuesday that did not identify the student, though she promised the student “was identified and appropriate action was taken.”
“Tolerance and inclusion are among the core principles of our school system,” Gough wrote. “Destruction of property and other inappropriate expressions of personal and/or political views are unacceptable. Such acts are incompatible with our mission of educating all students to achieve success.”
Gough would not discuss the ordeal further, citing confidentiality laws.
“However, I want to assure our school community that the safety of our students and staff continues to be our first priority,” the superintendent wrote.
“’Tolerance and inclusion are among the core principles of our school system,’ Gough said. Looks like they need to do a better job,” Jim Keats posted to X.
“Antisemitism running rampant in Walpole. Stupidity too,” Don Mason added.
The flag has since been replaced, WCVB reports.
The incident is only the latest in a wave of anti-Semitic activity emanating from public school and college campuses across the country in the wake of Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel that left thousands dead and hundreds captured as hostages, including Americans.
It’s not even the first time a student has ripped down an Israeli flag at a Massachusetts high school. In late November, an unnamed student tore down the flag from a display of flags intended to honor the home countries of students at Lexington High School, WBTS reports.
“This exhibit is carefully curated by members of our LHS counseling department and updated each year, and the Israeli flag was clearly missing from the display,” principal Andrew Baker wrote to parents.
School officials there don’t “take matters like this lightly,” he wrote, promising “appropriate consequences and education with that student.”
That incident came just days after hundreds of students at Hillcrest High School in Queens led riots against a female teacher after discovering pictures of her at a pro-Israel rally on her Facebook page, according to WRGB.
Videos of the incident show crowds of students waiving Palestinian flags and yelling through the school hallways as the teacher hid in a locked office, mayhem that came just a week after students threatened to execute the teacher.
The student riot followed a massive citywide pro-Palestine student walkout in November led by “left-leaning teacher groups, parent organizations, and youth activist groups” that involved tookits for students to coach them on talking to the media about how “the US is complicit in the genocide of Palestinians,” according to Chalkbeat NY.
Still other incidents have included school supported student walkouts, swastikas scrawled on school desks and buildings, and other attacks on individual students who have shown support for Israel, part of what the Anti-Defamation League and Hillel International describe as an “alarming rise in antisemitism and hate directed” at Jewish students since the Hamas attack.