Princeton High School, in the New Jersey town of the same name, is making news because some of its students were involved in an offensively titled “Jews vs. Nazis” beer pong game.
The (offensive) variation on the popular drinking game apparently has been around for at least a few years, mainly at colleges.
At Princeton HS, the activity has gotten the police involved, and school officials met with the participants because “Princeton Public Schools does not tolerate prejudices of any kind.”
“I didn’t understand how people who go to my school, which I consider to be open and accepting, could engage in such heinous activity,” said student Jamaica Ponder.
Calling the game “racist” and “insane,” Ms. Ponder put up a blog post about the game, which included a picture taken from social media that a game attendee had put up. Her post quickly went viral.
“Putting the picture on social media means that someone was proud enough of the game to want to show it off,” she wrote in her blog post. “Meaning that they must be trapped in the delusional mindset that making a drinking game based off of the Holocaust is cool. Or funny. Or anything besides insane. Because that’s what this is: insanity.”
She added, “I’m not even Jewish and I’m still offended.”
There were reports two years ago of students playing what is known variously as Holocaust pong, Alcoholocaust and Jews vs. Nazis at Cape Coral High School in Florida and at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where anti-Semitic vandalism had been reported.
But the high school boys who crowded into a Princeton basement for the game included Jewish students, according to Ms. Ponder, who said they helped set it up but did not participate.
Last week, Steve Cochrane, superintendent of the Princeton public school system, issued his own statement deploring that “some of our students chose to engage in a drinking game with clearly anti-Semitic overtones and to broadcast their behavior over social media.”
Cochrane added that the district must “take a hard look at [its] efforts in educating our children” about successful values.
But, astonishingly, neither the superintendent nor anyone else in the article seems concerned with the fact that these are high school kids who were partaking of alcoholic beverages — which is, after all, illegal.
Ms. Ponder says she “completely reject[s] the notion” that this whole matter “should be excused by the notion ‘Boys will be boys,’ or ‘This is teenagers being stupid.’”
Perhaps, but what she’s upset about, unlike underage drinking, is not against the law — disgusting though it may be. The First Amendment says so.