Principal Deems Jesus Chant Offensive

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — A Catholic school principal has organized sensitivity training for students who shouted “We love Jesus” during a basketball game against a school with Jewish students.

The word “Jew” also was painted on a gym wall behind the seats of Bishop Sullivan Catholic High School students attending the Feb. 2 game at Norfolk Academy, said Dennis W. Price, principal of the Virginia Beach school.

Price who also watched the game, said the rivals exchanged chants, “Then, at some point, our students were chanting, ‘We love Jesus.'”

“It was obviously in reference to the Jewish population of Norfolk Academy; that’s the only way you can take that,” he added.

Price said he sent a letter of apology to Norfolk. Dennis G. Manning, the academy’s headmaster, declined to comment.


Several Sullivan students met with Norfolk Academy’s cultural diversity club Thursday as part of a series of events aimed at promoting tolerance, Price said.

He has arranged for the Virginia Conference for Community and Justice and the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater to work with students.

A message left for the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater was not immediately returned Saturday.

Price also has consulted the Anti-Defamation League, a national group that fights anti-Semitism.

“It is important that we work harder at having students leaving here who are tolerant and understand how serious these kinds of things are,” said Price, who said diversity training will be incorporated permanently at Sullivan.

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AP, via the Los Angeles Times, USA
Feb. 24, 2007
www.latimes.com

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This post was last updated: Feb. 26, 2007