A judge at a school robotics competition in New York has been banned after being caught on video making anti-Semitic remarks to a group of middle school students.
A judge at a First Lego League Competition at Mineola High School on Long Island made the comments while students from Woodmere Middle School were presenting, according to a statement Thursday from Hewlett Woodmere Public Schools.
The school system said First Lego League informed them the judge who made the comments is not a teacher and has since been banned from participating in future events. The district added that the judge plans to apologize to the students and parents involved.
Update: The Hewlett-Woodmere Public School System states that the @firstlegoleague Competition Judge has been identified, banned from any future events & plans to apologize to the students & parents involved. Actions have consequences – we will always make sure of that! pic.twitter.com/zUEniklCyr
— Americans Against Antisemitism (@AmericansAA) February 13, 2020
An official for First Lego League confirmed that the judge who made the comments will not be “welcomed back as a volunteer in any capacity for any future FIRST events.”
According to a video cited by NBC News, the judge can be heard saying “Goddamn Jews,” and another judge appears to nod in agreement.
Hewlett Woodmere Public Schools said administrators reached out to event organizers immediately after hearing about the comment on Monday morning.
“Please know that anti-Semitic comments are not tolerated by anyone in the Hewlett-Woodmere Public Schools community, and run counter to the values we week to instill in all of our students,” the Hewlett Woodmere Public Schools President Mitchell Greebel and Superintendent Ralph Marino said in a joint statement.
An official for First Lego League called the remarks “disgraceful” and added that it “has no place in society, let alone at a youth school event.”
“We work hard to ensure an environment of respect and equity and comments such as this will never be tolerated,” the official said.
The league describes itself as a hands-on STEM experience to help students “build confidence, grow their knowledge and develop habits of learning.”
Mineola Public Schools Superintendent Michael Nagler said in a statement to NBC News that although the school hosts the tournament, the judges are volunteers who are trained and vetted through First Lego League and “have nothing to do with Mineola schools.”
“They may or may not be teachers and they come from all over the tri-state area,” he said.
Nagler added that the district “vehemently denounces the comments made during the event.”
An official for Mineola Public Schools was not immediately available for comment when contacted by The Hill.