East Brunswick school under fire for yearbook photo mix-up some say was antisemitic

Next to a heading that reads “Jewish Student Association,” there is a picture of members of the Muslim Student Association.

Chris Keating

Jun 6, 2024, 12:50 AM

Updated 9 days ago

Share:

It's not often that high school seniors have to return their yearbooks. But that's the case in East Brunswick.
The demand was made by school officials after a misprinted photo offended many of those who are Jewish in town.
The issue is on page 236 of the 2024 yearbook in the section for club photos. Next to a heading that reads “Jewish Student Association,” there is a picture of members of the Muslim Student Association.
Many in the Jewish community believe it was done intentionally to cause harm, including parent Fran Snowise who has three kids in the district. She has spoken before to the school board about what she deems a pattern of inequality. She says she sees this as another case of administrators failing the Jewish community.
“The tolerance for things happening to Jewish kids is about this wide,” Snowise said gesturing. “So there’s an inequity of how we are tolerating what is happening in the building.”
The mayor of East Brunswick also chimed in and has asked for the district to investigate the matter. He has also asked for the police to investigate if necessary.
“It made everybody assume from the beginning that this is antisemitism,” said Mayor Brad Cohen.
The school superintendent sent out a message stating, “I personally, along with the entire East Brunswick Board of Education, sincerely apologize for the hurt, pain and anguish this event has caused our Jewish students, their families and the impact this continues to have on the entire EB community. We do not tolerate bias and we investigate all reported antisemitism.”
A Muslim parent says the students in the photo had nothing to do with the error yet they are being singled out for harassment on social media.
Superintendent Victor Valeski also issued a statement apologizing to the Mulsim student community.
"I want to offer sincere apologies to our Muslim students and families, as well. I am aware that the picture placed in the yearbook has caused pain for our Muslim students and for that I am deeply sorry. We work every day to foster an inclusive school environment for all EB students but I realize that new work needs to be done every day to make that a reality," he wrote.
The superintendent has asked the county to get involved in the investigation as to how the error occurred.
A correction will be made to the yearbook. Students likely won't get the new edition until July.


More from News 12
0:20
EF-0 landspout tornado confirmed in Lawrence Township, NWS says

EF-0 landspout tornado confirmed in Lawrence Township, NWS says

2:11
Sunny skies, warm temperatures and breezy conditions in New Jersey

Sunny skies, warm temperatures and breezy conditions in New Jersey

1:57
‘Unity in the community.’ Juneteenth Festival celebrated along Bergen Street in Newark

‘Unity in the community.’ Juneteenth Festival celebrated along Bergen Street in Newark

0:38
Stafford police: Shoplifting suspect found with deer inside bag, crack cocaine at ShopRite

Stafford police: Shoplifting suspect found with deer inside bag, crack cocaine at ShopRite

0:26
Authorities: Paramus man obtained COVID-19 relief loans for business that closed before pandemic

Authorities: Paramus man obtained COVID-19 relief loans for business that closed before pandemic

2:04
Kevin Jonas undergoes surgery to remove common skin cancer; urges fans to get checked

Kevin Jonas undergoes surgery to remove common skin cancer; urges fans to get checked

Is your dad awesome? New Jersey tell us why your dad rocks!

Is your dad awesome? New Jersey tell us why your dad rocks!

1:43
Severe thunderstorms on Friday cause damage across New Jersey

Severe thunderstorms on Friday cause damage across New Jersey

1:02
Police: Armed suspect barricaded at Woodbridge gas station

Police: Armed suspect barricaded at Woodbridge gas station

0:53
New Jersey will soon see a stretch of 90-degree days. Here’s how to stay safe

New Jersey will soon see a stretch of 90-degree days. Here’s how to stay safe

0:38
Jersey Proud: Battleship New Jersey comes to Paulsboro this weekend before heading back to Camden

Jersey Proud: Battleship New Jersey comes to Paulsboro this weekend before heading back to Camden

2:01
Police in New Jersey say burglars are using Wi-Fi jammers to target homes. Here's what you need to know.

Police in New Jersey say burglars are using Wi-Fi jammers to target homes. Here's what you need to know.

1:05
Wyckoff native Kevin Jonas diagnosed with skin cancer

Wyckoff native Kevin Jonas diagnosed with skin cancer

0:31
NJ attorney general: Identities of officers, suspect in Woodbridge shootout released

NJ attorney general: Identities of officers, suspect in Woodbridge shootout released

0:24
Pulaski Skyway to close in both directions this weekend

Pulaski Skyway to close in both directions this weekend

1:13
Local veterans receive donated cars on Flag Day

Local veterans receive donated cars on Flag Day

2:13
Boating expert offers tips on how to stay safe on the water this summer

Boating expert offers tips on how to stay safe on the water this summer

1:52
Water service restored to Newark apartment buildings after days without service

Water service restored to Newark apartment buildings after days without service

0:27
Cat rescued from a tree in Jackson Township

Cat rescued from a tree in Jackson Township

2:02
About 70 firefighters help put out fire that damaged 2 Middlesex homes

About 70 firefighters help put out fire that damaged 2 Middlesex homes