Catholic Memorial tells students not to attend semifinal game after anti-Semitic chants

Administrators at Catholic Memorial School in West Roxbury told students they cannot attend tonight’s basketball semifinal game.
Administrators at Catholic Memorial School in West Roxbury told students they cannot attend tonight’s basketball semifinal game. –John Phelan

Administrators at Catholic Memorial High School have told students they cannot attend Monday night’s state semifinal basketball game after an incident Friday when many students yelled anti-Semitic chants at fans from a rival school.

During Friday night’s game, dozens of Catholic Memorial students were heard chanting, “You killed Jesus!’’ to fans Newton North High School, which has a large Jewish population.

“There are no excuses for the actions of the student-spectators who took part in the chanting,’’ the school said in a statement Monday. “Their behavior was appalling; their actions and words do not align with the teachings or the value system of our school or the Catholic Church.’’

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After reaching out to the Anti-Defamation League Saturday to both apologize and to seek assistance with resources for educating students about anti-Semitism, Catholic Memorial planned a series of assemblies for Monday.

“We will use this incident as a teaching opportunity to help students understand the gravity of the actions of student fans, the hurt they have caused to Newton North High School, the residents of Newton, the broader Jewish community and their school,’’ the school said in its statement.

Catholic Memorial won Friday’s game to advance to the Division 1 state semifinals at TD Garden. After consulting with Newton North administrators, Catholic Memorial officials decided that they would allow their team to compete “out of respect for the players and coaches who would like to finish what they have worked so hard for.’’

But, the school added, it “told members of the student body that they cannot attend tonight’s game.’’

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