Updated April 21, 2023 - 12:17 pm
An autistic Jewish Clark High School student came home from school in mid-March with what appeared to be a swastika scratched into his back, according to the Israeli-American Council.
Karen Bar-Or, senior national director of activism for the council, said that the boy is nonverbal and that his mother noticed the scratches and notified the school.
“The Israeli-American Council was appalled to learn that a Jewish teen may have been targeted in such an inhumane antisemitic attack,” Shoham Nicolet, IAC’s co-founder and CEO, said in a statement. “We urge authorities to investigate this incident to the fullest.”
Authorities investigated the apparent antisemitic act, while the Anti-Defamation League this week condemned the incident.
Jolie Brislin, regional director of ADL Nevada, released a statement Tuesday referring to the incident as a “violent” act, which reportedly occurred in mid-March.
“Not only was this student targeted for his identifiable faith, but he was particularly vulnerable due to his disability,” she wrote. “This incident illustrates points of intersectionality in how hate can show itself across marginalized communities.”
Bar-Or said the boy is the one of the only students at the school to wear a kippah. Since the injuries, the boy’s mother has pulled him out of school.
Clark County School District police took a report about injuries that a parent discovered at home in mid-March, school officials said in a statement to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Police conducted an investigation, which included interviews with staff and a review of camera footage, and found “no evidence that would indicate the origin of the injuries,” according to the statement.
Bar-Or said the council receives about four reports of anitsemitism in schools a week nationwide.
“It’s something that’s very disturbing to us,” Bar-Or said.
Other law enforcement agencies reviewed the information and came to the same conclusion, the district said.
“We will not tolerate discriminatory behaviors that contradict an inclusive community and impact student safety and well-being,” the district’s statement said. “If anyone has any additional information related to this case, we urge them to contact school police immediately.”
ADL Nevada, in partnership with Jewish Nevada and other organizations, has been in communication with the school district, law enforcement and the student’s parents, Brislin wrote.
The organization will also work with Clark High School to provide antisemitism education, she wrote. “School should be no place for hate, and no student should be made to feel unsafe and threatened.”
The FBI said in a statement to the Las Vegas Review-Journal that it is aware of the incident and is in regular contact with local authorities.
“If during the local investigation, information comes to light of a potential federal civil rights violation, the FBI is prepared to investigate,” according to the statement.
Bar-Or asked that anyone in the community with further information to report it to the FBI and the council’s School Watch at www.schoolwatch.me.