The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) is investigating an antisemitic incident at a North York middle school.
A spokesperson for the board says a group of three students performed a Nazi salute as a French teacher walked into a Grade 8 class at Valley Park Middle School.
According to the spokesperson, the teacher is Jewish and the daughter of Holocaust survivors.
They say she is “very hurt, very upset [and] very traumatized” by the incident.
The Friends of Simon Weisenthal Centre say they have spoken to the teacher, who told them two of the students stood up on filing cabinets before saluting.
The Centre says the third student also shouted “heil Hitler” from his desk.
Shari Schwartz-Maltz, who chairs the TDSB’s Jewish heritage committee, says there was a similar incident involving a Nazi salute at another school a few weeks earlier.
She also says the board is seeing antisemitic graffiti in schools about twice per week.
Schwartz-Maltz says the students involved in the Valley Park incident will face “consequences,” but did not elaborate.
Toronto Mayor John Tory also condemned the incident.
“It is extremely troubling to see antisemitic acts, especially among young people, happening in our community,” said Tory in a statement. “Antisemitism, hate and discrimination have no place in our Toronto.”
The mayor says he has spoken with TDSB Chair Alexander Brown to “stress the urgency of these incidents and to discuss what we can do together to do a better job ensuring all students understand the searing impact of antisemitism, including Nazi symbols and actions.”