Rabbi James Perman, of Temple Shalom in North Naples, called the situation “alarming.”
“I can tell you this: I haven’t seen anything like it in my 17 years in Naples. No child deserves this kind of treatment,” he wrote in an e-mail Monday. “Their parents are understandably outraged. So far it seems that the school system has taken appropriate measures and we applaud their efforts. At this point, teaching sensitive awareness is more important than punishing anyone.”
Perman said how the situation is handled is of concern to those at the Temple because it involves children.
“Beyond that, there are critical issues for the entire Jewish community and beyond. ... These are not new issues for us here in Naples,” he wrote. “These 10 kids did not invent anti-Semitism. They found a sympathetic response that was already there on some level.”
This follows a similar incident last year at a St. Louis school.