Since an anti-Semitic incident last spring involving students, Milton High School has actively participated in a school program designed to help combat bias and bullying and stop the escalation of hate.
On April 9, Milton resident Hilary Karp opened her garage door to find anti-Semitic graffiti on her driveway. Vandals had used shaving cream to write “F*** you” as well as “Jew” in the middle of a blue-glittered Star of David. At the time, Karp’s son was a Milton High School senior who had been offered some college baseball opportunities because he is Jewish; Karp suspected that may have motivated the incident.
Five Milton students were implicated in the case: 17-year-olds McKenna Blaine and Katherine Stein were treated as adults and charged with vandalism, while three younger teens were charged with criminal trespass through the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice.
Shaken by the incident, Karp posted on social media afterwards in hopes of sparing neighbors from a similar experience. “Whether they are Hindu, Muslim, black, Jewish, Christian, I don’t care. I don’t want anyone to experience it,” she told the AJT at the time.
Support of the Karp family was far-reaching, and condemnation was swift. Milton police were praised for their rapid response, issuing a statement soon after the incident and making sure the students involved understood the severity of their actions. The students all expressed remorse for their behavior. Community groups such as the Atlanta Initiative Against Anti-Semitism and the Anti-Defamation League Southeast spoke out about the impact of anti-Semitism on the larger community, as well as the need for more anti-bias education and conversation about hatred and bigotry.
Milton High School stepped up to address that need. The ADL’s No Place for Hate Initiative helps create a safe, bully-free learning environment and fosters a culture of respect. Shelley Rose, deputy regional director for the ADL Southeast, confirmed that MHS is working to achieve the No Place for Hate designation this school year. Certification requirements include conducting a needs assessment; forming a committee to oversee anti-bias school activities; and completing at least three school-wide activities consistent with the program’s mission.
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