'I do not feel safe here:' Jewish students say hate fills school halls
Community members are concerned about anti-Semitic harassment reported at Amity Regional High School.
At a school board meeting Monday night, dozens of Jewish students said they have been harassed at school.
The students said they are afraid to wear Jewish apparel and jewelry and say they fear certain people for comments they've made in the past like, "These Jews deserve to die."
Each student ended their time at the podium the same way, saying, "I do not feel safe here."
Some students criticized the administration for not taking the problem seriously.
Interim Superintendent James Connelly called the meeting eye-opening.
"We hear you, we recognize it's a problem here in the district," Connelly says. "We're not going to sweep it under the carpet."
Connelly says administrators will investigate this type of harassment, take disciplinary action and get police involved when necessary.
They also plan to partner with advocacy groups like the Anti-Defamation League to educate the school community.
Connelly released a letter to residents Tuesday vowing that hate will not be tolerated in the district.
Judy Alperin, CEO of the Greater Jewish Federation of New Haven, attended the meeting.
"I'm not naive enough to believe that we can eradicate hate," Alperin says. "But I do believe that we can push it way back down under the rock it crawled out of."
Amity's principal says meetings will be held with students throughout the week to talk about the situation.
There will also be an increased police presence in the parking lot and an increased adult presence in the hallway to try and help the students feel more safe.