Head of The Leffell School Responds to NAACP Statement on Antisemitism at Basketball Game

Official Statement from the Head of The Leffell School

We are aware of a recent report casting doubt that antisemitic slurs were uttered during the January 4 girls’ varsity basketball game between Roosevelt High School and The Leffell School.

This report was produced without any conversation with Leffell School players, coaches, or administrators. Its conclusions are contradictory not only to our students’ accounts of their experience, but also to the findings of the Yonkers Public Schools‘ internal investigation into the matter, which determined definitively that antisemitic words and phrases were used at multiple points in the context of this game. This was noted in the January 8 joint statement released by Interim Superintendent Rodriguez and Mayor Spano, which remains prominently posted on the school district web site, and has been reaffirmed in numerous conversations with district and city officials in recent days.

As I stated in my letter to the Leffell School community on January 5, our goal is to address this issue in accordance with our school values, without seeking to embarrass, disparage, or shame anyone, and without passing judgment on any community on the basis of the words or actions of a small number of individuals. As educators, we strongly share the stated desire to bring communities together for moments of genuine learning. We are working constructively and privately with the district leadership to craft appropriate opportunities to do so.

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