LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A family is breaking their silence over the way an antisemitic incident at Bishop Gorman High School was handled.
“One of the things that I heard growing up a lot was never again, in reference to antisemitism,” Ariel Stern, who is Jewish, told 8 News Now. “From never again, to again, right? That’s the concern.”
An antisemitic meme was sent to his daughter during the spring semester when she was a senior at Bishop Gorman, according to Stern.
The incident comes during a period when antisemitism continue to rise across the United States, including in the Las Vegas valley.
“The school seemed completely untroubled by it. They were much more concerned again with protecting the reputation of the kid who sent this thing than the actual victim of it,” Stern said.
The meme is too graphic for 8 News Now to display in its entirety. The first line of it reads “I want to eliminate the entire Jewish culture,” and makes references to Hitler and cleansing.
“There is a serious blind spot on the school there,” Stern said. “They were much more concerned with shutting things down, and didn’t seem to have even the slightest concern for the fact that the student had sent this meme to another student calling for genocide.”
His daughter no longer attends Bishop Gorman, having graduated in May. But, he was prompted to speak up because he’s aware of how antisemitism and hate have spread in the past.
Stern grew up half-Jewish and half-Catholic. His wife is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and his children were raised Mormon.
Yet, Stern said his concern stems from the fact there are victims of the Holocaust in his family.
In a statement to 8 News Now, Bishop Gorman High School says in part:
“The content in question was brought to the attention of the administration this past spring. At that time, a thorough investigation was conducted resulting in the students involved being issued discipline. We have not been made aware of or discovered anything more recent.”
The Archdiocese of Las Vegas also sent 8 News Now a statement that says:
“Catholic schools and the Archdiocese of Las Vegas are troubled by the meme that has been shared and strongly condemn this type of behavior. This behavior is contrary to Catholic teaching, where the dignity of all people is the foundation of Catholic Social Teaching.”
“The sentiment that the diocese expressed was very appreciated, the school needs to follow it,” Stern said.
According to data from the Anti-Defamation League, 2022 had the biggest increase of antisemitic incidents year-over-year during a nine-year period that began in 2013.
ADL also stated that reports of antisemitism at non-Jewish schools doubled from 2021 to 2022.