Odd Mom Out actress and creator Jill Kargman claims that her 10-year-old son, Fletch, faced rampant anti-Semitism at school in New York City.
“A boy in his class blithely said, ‘I’m a fan of Hilter! God sent Hitler down to kill the Jews because they nailed Jesus to the cross,’” Kargman, 44, revealed in an essay for Tablet Magazine published on Monday, August 13.
Kargman noted that she wasn’t “entirely shocked” by what what she had just heard. One year earlier, when Fletch was in the third-grade, he had written a paper about his experience at the Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes. “He concluded his research on Art Deco by adding that our family was underwhelmed by the Christmas Spectacular and parroting, his mom and sisters, that he found all the emphasis on women’s legs sexist,” recalled the former Bravo star. “The same student had said at the time, “You just didn’t get it because you are a Jew and the show is made for Christians.”
When Kargman notified the school’s headmaster of the incident, she allegedly received a reply that read: “Courage!” Kargman was confused by the “strange response” but decided to let it go. As she explained in the piece, “I grew up with an acute distaste for busybodies or tattletales.”
While Kargman was dealing with “the Fan-O-Hitler incident,” she was recovering from a double mastectomy. (The mom of three had tested positive for a breast cancer gene and had chosen to undergo the surgery to reduce the risk of developing the disease by at least 95 percent.) Running on “Tylenol and sheer rage,” the writer and her husband, Harry Kargman, alerted the school that Fletch had now faced anti-Semitism on two occasions.
“They emailed back that they were on it,’” Kargman claimed. “A disciplinary committee was empaneled, and we were told the student would miss two field trips as ‘punishment.’” According to Jill, he only missed one field trip.
Jill tried to turn the situation into a teachable moment by delivering a stack of gift wrapped books to the building where the bully lived. “I had affixed a card to the package that read, ‘We thought this would prove valuable reading to for your family. Best, Kargmans,’” she wrote. “I never heard from them.”
In the end, Jill and Harry pulled Fletch from his school. He will be starting fifth grade at an institution where a rainbow colored gay pride flag hands in the lobby. “What what if I’d lived in a small town with only one school?” she wondered in the essay. “I would have nowhere to go, which is why we need to make every child feel protected from this poisonous lava oozing across the nation. Everyone serves to feel the calm of those Roygbiv colors, a prism of acceptance and love.”
St. Bernard’s School responded to Kargman’s claims on Monday, telling the New York Post that it “does not tolerate anti-Semitism,” and that “the essay does not accurately or fully describe the underlying facts or disciplinary actions taken.”
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