CHESHIRE, Conn. (WTNH) — Cheshire school officials are investigating allegations of anti-Semitism and racism stemming from incidents at the Cheshire High School (CHS) vs. Westport’s Staples High School (SHS) football game on Friday night.
Cheshire Public Schools (CPS) says during Friday’s game there was a complaint made by Westport students to Cheshire Police Officers that CHS students were waving an Israeli flag. The Westport students told a CHS administrator they felt the flag waving was an effort to insult their religion.
The administrator directed the CHS students to put the flag away. Those students waving the flag – who were themselves Jewish – were confused and concerned they were directed to put the flag of their heritage away without any understanding of why. They told the administrator they were waving the flag as part of a red, white, and blue theme the student section of the stands was celebrating that night.
Additionally, allegations were made that a Confederate flag was waved and insulting chants were spoken at the game.
According to CPS, “A thorough review of images, as well as preliminary questioning of those present Friday evening, have not yet substantiated that allegation.”
School officials add, “It is deeply concerning that America is experiencing a period of elevated anti-Semitic acts. The Cheshire Public Schools is deeply opposed to any expression of hate and remains committed to
aggressively addressing such behavior.”
Westport Superintendent Tom Scarice said, in part, “Westport Public Schools is fully committed to finishing our investigation by speaking with every student or community member personally impacted by these events.”
CPS is working with Westport Public Schools and the state’s Anti-Defamation League to “addressing any and all expressions of hate within our respective communities and will not rest until we are sure that this situation has been fully addressed.”
The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with first-hand knowledge of the events is urged to contact officials at Cheshire High School or Staples High School in Westport.