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Another antisemitic incident reported involving Bethesda high school students

It's been less than two months since police had to respond to Walt Whitman High School for the report of antisemitic graffiti spray-painted on the school's sign.

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. — Yet another incident of antisemitism was reported involving students from a Bethesda high school where previous issues have occurred. 

It's been less than two months since police had to respond to Walt Whitman High School on Whittier Boulevard in Bethesda, Maryland for the report of antisemitic graffiti spray-painted on the school's sign board out front.

That graffiti said "Jews not welcome." One student told WUSA9 that the graffiti came directly after a school lesson on the Holocaust.

Now, that same school is grappling with another antisemitic incident. This time, it involves the school's Speech & Debate Public Forum team.

According to a letter sent home to parents, students are alleged to have made antisemitic statements while on a club trip in December.

The Washington Post obtained an email from January purported to be from students to the team’s parental governing board that claimed that two students joked about "using challah to lure Jewish people to the secluded Andaman Islands and burning them at the stake."

Walt Whitman High School said the incident happened off campus and wasn't witnessed by Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) staff.

"Our administrative team conducted a thorough investigation and utilized the MCPS Student Code of Conduct to guide our school response to the incident. We want to emphasize that antisemitic language, symbols, or actions as well any form of hate or bias will not be tolerated at Walt Whitman High School," Principal Robert W. Dodd said in a letter to parents. "We are also partnering with the MCPS Restorative Justice Unit to implement restorative practices to repair the harm that was caused by this incident."

Dodd said the Restorative Justice Unit has developed a three-part learning series, and the Speech & Debate Public Forum team will be required to participate. Dodd said the purpose of the sessions is: 

  • Repair the harm that has been caused by the most recent incidents within the team
  • Reset and establish core agreements that cultivate a culture of respect, accountability, and collegiality
  • Address team dynamics and identify student leadership roles within the team

This isn't the first incident of antisemitism in Montgomery County this year.

On Jan. 25, a Jewish man was assaulted at a Giant grocery store located in the 18200 block of Flower Hill Way.

The assault was investigated as a hate crime after the victim told police the people with the suspect shouted "Yeah, do it for Kanye" during the assault. And the suspect is also alleged to have said "Let's go, f------ Jew" before the assault began.

Kanye West, who has changed his name to Ye, has been in the news for making antisemitic statements and praising Nazis and Adolf Hitler.

WATCH NEXT: Holocaust survivor counsels kids after antisemitic incidents at Montgomery County Schools

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