High school skit spurs religious controversy in Blue Valley

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. - A rivalry between two Blue Valley high schools has turned religious.

A group of junior boys at Blue Valley Northwest High School performed a skit on Jan. 27 that a student at rival Blue Valley North High School claims mocked the Jewish students at his school.

During the skit four boys lifted one of the members on to their shoulders.  The group danced around in a circle while a traditional Jewish song was played throughout the high school's cafeteria.  The district said about 800 students watched the skit.

David Tauber, a Jewish senior at Blue Valley North, said the skit is hurtful.

"There's always been rivalry, hatred between Northwest and North, but when you turn to denigration, something's not right," said Tauber. "Kids are upset about that."

Tauber said what he's most upset about is how the video was shown throughout the district.

"They showed this off.  They put this online.  Their newspaper published it. They showed it off to everyone. They were proud of what they did. That's the problem," Tauber said.

41 Action News tried contacting one of the boys in the skit, but no one was available for comment.

Video of the skit was posted online at www.bvnwnews.com , but has been removed. Click on the attached video to watch the skit

Parents notified the district of the video on Wednesday.  Assistant superintendent Mike Slagle said the issue is being addressed, but he would not specify how.

"Even though you don't think that some of the things you do in skits will hurt other people, sometimes you have to be very much aware of what the skit actually does that could hurt other students," Slagle said.  "It's disappointing, but we are using this as a learning opportunity and moving forward."

Slagle said the skits must get approved before performed.  He said the skit that was approved was different from the skit shown to the students.

Tauber said if the teachers noticed something different, they should have stopped the skit immediately.

"When everyone's laughing, when everyone's playing along, it becomes OK," Tauber said.  "You tolerate it, and later on that's where real anti-Semitism grows."

BVNW students said they meant no harm with the skit aimed toward the rival school.

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