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Students charged for antisemitic gestures, symbols at Ottawa high school

Ottawa police say criminal charges against two minors include public incitement of hatred. According to the Criminal Code, that's
Ottawa police say criminal charges against two minors include public incitement of hatred. According to the Criminal Code, that's

Ottawa police have charged two students accused of displaying a hate symbol and using antisemitic language and gestures last month at a high school.

In a Tuesday afternoon news release, police said officers were investigating a Dec. 1 incident at a school on Greenbank Road north of West Hunt Club Road.

The accused are too young to be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, police said, adding the charges include public incitement of hatred, criminal harassment and mischief.

The Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB) confirmed Tuesday the charges were linked to an incident at Sir Robert Borden High School, where David Baker said his Jewish son was targeted with a swastika and taunted by four fellow students in a locker room on Dec. 1.

'Strong' message about consequences of actions, father says

Baker said Tuesday he hopes news of the charges will show everyone, students especially, that words and actions have consequences.

"It's important because it sends a strong and unequivocal message that antisemitism will not be tolerated in our schools and in our city," said Baker.

"Education is the only path forward and it's my hope that these [students] will change their thinking and their behaviour."

The OCDSB released a written statement Tuesday saying it stands against antisemitism, adding that Jewish students, families and staff have the right to feel safe at school and in the community.

The board's statement also notes, since the incident, Sir Robert Borden High School has taken steps to address concerns of antisemitism.