(Ken Silva, Headline USA) A 12-year-old student in Massachusetts reportedly faces a misdemeanor charge of criminal harassment after he allegedly drove his Jewish teacher to quit with a slew of anti-Semitic remarks and a hand-drawn picture.
The Berkshire–Eagle, a local newspaper in Massachusetts, reported last week that the teacher, 25-year-old Morrison Robblee, said the student began harassing him after he made it known to his students that he was Jewish. The sixth-grader reportedly did this during his first year at the school, as he became more comfortable with them.
“The harassment started with insults in February, Robblee said, then graduated to jokes about the Holocaust, gas chambers and other aspects of Nazi Germany in his class,” the Berkshire–Eagle reported.
“It came to a head in April,” the newspaper continued. “Robblee, 25, showed up to class during Passover wearing a kippah—a cap worn by some observant Jews. The student made hateful comments about it, and Robblee wrote him up and sent him to detention.”
A few days later, Robblee said the student handed him several drafts of a drawing that showed Adolf Hitler standing over a dead Jewish person, with heading along the top: “Sorry, Jew,” according to the Berkshire–Eagle. The student reportedly called it an apology letter.
The Berkshire–Eagle reported that the student was suspended and removed from Robblee’s class as a result. But the sixth-grade teacher reportedly said the harassment continued in the school’s hallways, and via emails from the student.
The Berkshire–Eagle also reported that the teacher was placed on administrative leave in May, following allegations of misconduct. He allegedly made a face at the student, and spoke about the student in front of other children at the school.
Robblee reportedly admitted to making the face “out of frustration,” but denied speaking about the student in front of his peers.
“Robblee said that he would have been able to return to the school, with a verbal reprimand not to make faces at the student, but he chose to resign instead, feeling that his concerns had not been heard by the administrators,” the Berkshire–Eagle reported. “The district, however, says an investigation into Robblee’s conduct is still open.”
The Dalton Police Department reportedly filed the charge against the student last Tuesday in Pittsfield Juvenile Court. Pending a show-cause hearing, it’s up to the court’s clerk magistrate to decide if it will move forward, according to the Berkshire–Eagle.
“I am not bothered by the ignorant comments of a child,” the teacher reportedly wrote in a statement. “I am bothered that, without proper intervention, this hate will continue to fester.”
Ken Silva is a staff writer at Headline USA. Follow him at twitter.com/jd_cashless.