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Fairfield Prep President Calls Anti-Semitic Lacrosse Game Chants 'Hurtful'

The Rev. Tom Simisky, S.J., speaks about the incident at the lacrosse game.
The Rev. Tom Simisky, S.J., speaks about the incident at the lacrosse game. Video Credit: FairfieldPrep1

Fairfield Preparatory School has apologized to Staples High School for the actions of students in the stands who used anti-Semitic chants during a state playoff game last week.

According to Staples school officials and parents who attended, members from the Fairfield Prep booster club chanted "Happy Hanukkah" and other hateful words whenever one of the Jewish Staples players scored during the game last Wednesday, May 30.

Known as the "Bomb Squad," the group usually chants support, but apparently, this is the first time any type of "hateful" words or actions were used, school officials said.

Some Staples parents and visitors said they found urine on their cars and on parts of the school as well.

The Rev. Thomas Simisky, the school president at Fairfield Prep, expressed his dismay during graduation ceremonies on Sunday. He said the chants were upsetting and hurtful. (See video above.)

"I cannot tell you how disappointed and upset I was to learn of this, especially given the many initiatives this year to address race, equality and inclusion issues," he said.

In a letter to parents following the game, Fairfield Prep Principal Robert A. Perrotta urged them to “reinforce the importance of cheering FOR the members of our teams in a manner that reflects values taught at school and at home as opposed to cheering AGAINST our opponents.”

“Unfortunately, the outstanding efforts of the student-athletes on both teams were overshadowed by the behavior of some of our students in the Prep Bomb Squad cheering section,” Perrotta wrote.

Staples' lacrosse coach Paul McNulty, who said he had never seen such actions, sent a letter to Fairfield administrators saying security video shows some members of the booster club urinating in the parking lot.

Fairfield Prep won the game 11-10 in overtime against Staples before losing to New Canaan 9-7 in the state quarterfinals. Fairfield University will host the state semifinal game between four-time state champ Darien and New Canaan 5 p.m. Wednesday, June 6.

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