Police launch investigation into antisemitic behavior at Montgomery Co. high school

In a letter sent home to families Friday, Montgomery Blair High School’s principal said that a group of Maryland students allegedly performed an “anti-Semitic salute” together during a lunch period.

Principal Renay Johnson’s letter also said the students enacting the anti-Semitic salute were filming themselves doing it outside, when another student at the Silver Spring school saw and reported it.

The student who reported the incident called it “distressing.” Now, the school is working with Montgomery County police to investigate “the motivations behind this behavior and to prevent any future incidents.”

The school said it has a zero-tolerance policy for hate speech and that this behavior goes against their values of inclusivity for all.

“We understand that this incident may be deeply concerning to you, as it is to us,” Johnson wrote. “We want to assure you that we are committed to addressing this matter and using it as an opportunity for education and growth. We encourage you to discuss this incident with your child and emphasize the importance of respect and inclusivity in our diverse society.”

This isn’t the first incident of its kind at the school. In 2017, flyers stating “It’s OK to be white” were found on exterior doors to the school building by staff before students arrived.

WTOP has reached out to the school system, as well as local anti-hate and Jewish groups, for comment.

WTOP’s Ciara Wells contributed to this report.

Matt Kaufax

If there's an off-the-beaten-path type of attraction, person, or phenomenon in the DC area that you think more people should know about, Matt is your guy. As the features reporter for WTOP, he's always on the hunt for stories that provide a unique local flavor—a slice of life if you will.

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