A father in Connecticut has gone public with a personal story involving his son, who he says was the victim of antisemitism at school.
The father, Andrew Goldberg, said bullying at Coleytown Middle School took a hateful turn in a September incident that resulted in shocking antisemitism directed at his seventh-grade son.
“The phrases that were being used were, ‘We must exterminate the Jews,'” recalled Goldberg about the insults told to his son. “Or that my son was invited to join Camp Auschwitz, where ‘they had great showers.'”
Goldberg met with administrators who told him they would implement a safety plan.
He says rather than just punish the students involved, he wanted the Westport School District to use the incident as a teachable moment given the sharp rise in antisemitism since the start of the war in Gaza.
“We pleaded and asked the school over and over, ‘What are you going to do to protect our son,'” said Goldberg.
Instead of suing, the Goldbergs reached an agreement with the school district to help cover the cost of enrolling their son in private Jewish school. But the deal was contingent on the family not discussing the circumstances or face a $15,000 penalty.
Ultimately, the parents walked away from what they call hush money.
“You tried to buy our silence, and what you did was reprehensible and immoral, ” said mother Leslie Derkash.
From speaking at a school board meeting to writing about the incident in Newsweek, the family went very public.
The Board of Education says the article “grossly mischaracterizes the response and actions of our school leadership.”
“The district has zero tolerance for antisemitism and zero tolerance for any form of hate,” said Westport School Superintendent Thomas Scarice.