Officials at a New Jersey high school have gone on record to express their anger and disappointment over a shocking photo of several of their high school students playing a drinking game dubbed “Jews vs. Nazis.” The photo surfaced on social media and has raised concern in the district about anti-Semitism.
The image was captured from the social media platform Snapchat and depicts the setting up of the game by several underage Princeton Public High School students. “Jews vs. Nazis” is a variation on beer pong, is also known as “Alcoholocaust,” and is played by arranging cups on one side of a table in the shape of a swastika while on the other side of the table they are arranged into the shape of the Star of David. NJ.com Reportedly the team which plays as the “Jews” have the ability to “Anne Frank” (hide) one of their cups, while the “Nazis” team ability is to “Auschwitz” (bench) an opponent’s player for a round.
News that the students were involved in the anti-Semitic game came to light after one Princeton High student took a screenshot of the Snapchat post, which was sent to a number of persons, and uploaded the picture to her personal blog to tackle the issue she recognized. Seventeen-year-old Jamaica Ponder found the game offensive and wrote of her disappointment that her fellow schoolmates could allow a game like that, much less take part in its promotion, especially since there were actual Jewish children playing the game too.
“Putting the picture on social media means that someone was proud enough of the game to want to show it off. Meaning that they must be trapped in the delusional mindset that making a drinking game based off of the Holocaust is cool. I know I’m not the only one who saw this Snapchat story. Yet here I am, the only one saying anything about it. I am unsure as to what’s worse: the static silence from my peers, or the fact that this happened in the first place. “
Prior to posting the photo to her blog, the young Princeton student contacted her school’s guidance counselor in a display of respect for the school’s administration. Jamaica also seemed to recognize that many would react negatively to her pointing out the racist tones of the game, but went on to state that the fact that this could be seen as remotely acceptable marks a loss of something essential in our society’s thinking and “is the death of compassion for human life.”
NJ HS students are caught playing Jews vs. Nazis 'Alcoholocaust' beer pong https://t.co/GtCRbqXH35— Daily Mail US (@DailyMail) April 8, 2016
An interview with Jamaica revealed that many persons have actually approached her with profanities about her post on the drinking game but that many have also responded positively. Her blog also has a number of upset persons writing that this is shy she is not invited to parties, that there is nothing anti-Semitic and it is “just a game,” but in support, another wrote that silence in the midst of such wrongdoings would be “cowardice.”
The photo’s circulation eventually reached parents and school officials. The superintendent of Princeton, Steve Cochrane, stated that they will be speaking to the students involved in playing a game like “Jews vs. Nazis” that has such “clearly anti-Semitic” overtones, and CBS Philadelphia reported that the parents of these children will also be involved. Cochrane’s belief is that, as a community, they all have a role to play in teaching children how to make “good decisions” and learn how to respect the diversity of the members of society. The issue of the underage drinking will also be tackled by the school.
In 2014, the game enjoyed brief popularity among Florida students and a rabbi who addressed the issue stated that while he tried to assume that the children were simply immature and had no malice, it was still a wake up call that society needed to be educated to “be nicer, kinder, more polite” to those around them.
The school intends to address the issues which have been brought into focus by the photo — bias, ethnic insensitivity, underage alcohol abuse, and inappropriate social media use — in consultation with their board members. They have, however, stated that they will not make public exactly what kind of disciplinary actions will be taken against the participants of the “Jews vs. Nazis” drinking game.
“Princeton Public Schools does not tolerate prejudices of any kind. Clearly we have work to do.”
[Photo Courtesy of Jamaica Ponder blog]