DNAinfo Chicago reports Ogden International School of Chicago principal Joshua VanderJagt asked to be reassigned because “challenges” arose after two students – one 14 years old and one 8 years old – suffered repeated threats by classmates.
The challenges surrounded allegations from Ogden parent Lisa Wolf Clemente that her 14-year-old and 8-year-old sons were bullied at both campuses by classmates for their Jewish heritage.
The Gold Coast resident said her teen son was shown photos of ovens and told to get in during lunch periods, intended as a reference to the Holocaust.
At the Streeterville campus, Wolf Clemente said her 8-year-old was invited to join a team called “Jew Incinerator” on the popular game app Clash of Clans. The team was allegedly created by Ogden eighth-graders.
In a screenshot provided by parents, the team description reads: “We are a friendly group of racists with one goal — put all Jews into an army camp until disposed of. Sieg! Heil!”
After the incidents, the bullies were suspended for two days – one in school and one out of school. They were also barred from “eighth grade graduation ceremonies,” according to the news service.
A petition circulated online calling for VanderJagt to resign or be fired, DNAinfo Chicago reports.
But in true government school fashion, he was merely transferred.
When the allegations surfaced in June, the boys’ mother accused the district of “pushing it under the carpet.”
That’s precisely what VanderJagt’s fellow administrators did.
“VanderJagt had previously said he should have met with Clemente’s son sooner. But the first-time principal at the time defended his actions, saying they were taken with the help of CPS officials to ensure all students’ safety,” reports Fox 32.
“Had he brought us all together or did something to maybe rectify the situation it wouldn’t have gotten this out of hand,” Clemente said, according to DNAinfo Chicago. “He kept on shoving it off and pushing it under the carpet and hiding it.”
The race of the bullies was not identified, but will the police investigate the incidents as a “hate crime,” like they’re doing of a statement uttered through a window in Arkansas?