Massachusetts school removes football coach after team used anti-Semitic language to call plays

Superintendent John Antonucci also confirmed to CNN that Maimaron is on administrative leave from his position as a special-education teacher pending further investigation.

The school district shared on Monday that it was reported and “ultimately confirmed” that the football team used “highly offensive language” during a game earlier this month while making calls on the field.

While the district originally said the language had “religious connotations,” they clarified in their statement on Wednesday that this included anti-Semitic phrases.

“The outrage is real, warranted, and we hear it,” several district and school administrators said in a statement. “The fact that members of our school community used such offensive language, including anti-Semitic language, is horrifying and disappointing.”

CNN has reached out to Maimaron for comment on the matter

Maimaron apologized for the “insensitive, crass and inappropriate language” on Monday in a statement provided by a PR firm working with the school district.

“Using the term was careless, unnecessary and most importantly hurtful on its face — inexcusable,” Maimaron said in the statement.

He said the incident did not reflect the values of the team, the school or the Duxbury community.

“As a special education teacher and a coach, with a multi-racial family, I have a lengthy record of helping students and athletes of all races, religions and capabilities to become the best they can be. I view the football field in particular to be the largest classroom in the school and have developed an inclusive program that welcomes, and makes part of the team, any student who wishes to participate.

“Anyone who is familiar with the program can testify to the emphasis we put on the importance of community service; we impart to all student-athletes to help particularly those in need, those who are different, and those who are alone in the world. We, as a program, welcome the opportunity to participate in sensitivity and diversity training and look forward to taking the lessons learned to better ourselves and those around us,” Maimaron said in the statement.

The district says it has hired an independent firm to investigate the matter, and will be working with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) on their “short-term and long-term response,” which includes training and addressing institutional issues.

Friday’s varsity football game and the JV and Freshman teams’ games scheduled for Saturday and Monday have been canceled.

“A decision about future games and the fate of the football season will be made at a later date,” the district said in its statement.

In a statement, the ADL New England Regional Director Robert Trestan said that they welcome the investigation and that they are ready to partner with the district to “begin a new chapter in their school community.”

The ADL New England intends to help the district with figuring out different types of training for students and staff, but they also intend to work with them for a “multi-year period” to help address the systemic issues, Trestan told CNN.

The statement from school officials also noted that they intend to partner with other community groups to make sure that “members of the school community understand the importance of inclusion and respect.”