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‘Beat the Jew’ game lands students in trouble

Associated Press / June 5, 2010

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LA QUINTA, Calif. — Seven seniors at a California high school are facing disciplinary action for participating in a game called “Beat the Jew’’ in which losers were subjected to “incineration’’ or “enslavement,’’ a school administrator said yesterday.

The game involved some students playing the role of Nazis who blindfolded and dropped off other students playing Jews who had to find their way back to the campus, said Sherry Johnstone, assistant superintendent of personnel for Desert Sands Unified School District.

It was not immediately clear exactly what being incinerated or enslaved meant for the losing players, she said.

Seven seniors at La Quinta High School could be suspended or barred from graduation, Johnstone said.

“This is appalling to us,’’ she said. “We want our students to understand the horror of a title like this.’’

The district referred the matter to police because of the possibility that the game contained a threat, said La Quinta police Lieutenant Jason Huskey. No threat had been found so far, but the investigation was ongoing, Huskey said.

The district started investigating a week ago, after students informed school administrators.

The game was promoted online, attracting about 40 students. Seven showed up to play one evening in the campus parking lot, Johnstone said.

The district is working with Jewish organizations to review its tolerance curriculum. A voluntary tolerance program will be held after school next week.

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