A New York state federal judge last Thursday ruled in favor of five Jewish students who suffered severe anti-Semitic abuse at schools in upstate New York, approving for them a $4.5 million settlement from the school district.
The case has dragged on for years, after the students and their families initially sued the Pine Bush school district back in 2012 for ignoring swastika graffiti as well as verbal and physical abuse of Jewish elementary, middle and high school students, reports the New York Post.
"My son was told you’re nothing more than ashes. He was slapped on the school bus by a girl who called him a dirty Jew," said one parent, David Cohen. "My daughter had dirt thrown at her and money shoved in her mouth."
Last month the $4.5 million sum was agreed on, and now the White Plains federal judge has approved the settlement.
In addition to the money, which local reports say may require a raise in taxes to be covered, Pine Bush school district officials agreed to various educational reforms to confront anti-Semitism.
Those reforms are to include mandatory classes to "recognize and report anti-Semitic graffiti, name-calling…and other forms of anti-Semitic harassment."
"It’s a very significant settlement and sweeping reform, and we hope this will be a new day in Pine Bush," said a lawyer of the school district