Nine pupils at a school in California made a “human swastika” using their bodies and shared the images on a social media group chat, the school’s leaders have said.
The photos were found by a parent who alerted the school to the nature of the students’ messaging, which was described by Principal Javier Ramirez of Matilija Junior High School in Ventura County as one of several “racist, sexually inappropriate and threatening”.
Cyndi Silverman of the local Anti-Defamation League (ADL) branch said: “This isn’t the first time we’ve seen it in Ventura County and it isn’t the last. The internet gives people the opportunity to hate 24/7.
Ramirez said he and the school staff were “beyond saddened” to learn that students had been using their bodies to form the shape of a giant swastika for photos and amusement, adding: “We cannot tell you how many times we see students make extremely poor decisions through social media.”
He said the school would “identify, educate, counsel, and properly discipline those who fail to understand the severity of such hurtful words and actions”.
While life in Israel has returned to normal and hopes are high that Britain is set for a summer without restrictions thanks to vaccines, for billions around the world there is no such imminent light at the end of the tunnel. In the majority of countries around the globe, particularly the poorest, the vaccine rollout has barely kicked off.
That's why Jewish News, the leading source of news and opinion for the entire UK community, is throwing its full weight behind UNICEF’s VaccinAid campaign by using this platform usually reserved for encouraging donations towards our own journalism to instead urge our readers around the globe to perform the greatest mitzvah: saving a life.
We have never before done this for any charity fundraiser but it's hard to recall a campaign that affects so many people, and indeed an entire planet aching for a return to normality. Just like the Chief Rabbi and Rachel Riley, we hope to boost the mission to deliver two billion vaccines, 165 million treatments and 900 million test kits around the world by the end of this year.
Please donate as much as you can, in the spirit of the Talmudic sages: “to save one life is to save the world entire”