As members of our school’s Civil Rights Team, we were angry, confused and upset when we learned about the shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh.

Some of our team members are Jewish, and we have Jewish friends. We are so sad that we, or our friends, feel uncomfortable going to a place where they used to feel safe.

We don’t understand why anyone would commit a hate crime like this. We all deserve happiness and we all have the same needs for food, love, and belonging. We don’t know why anyone would feel they could take those rights away from other people.

A lot of people think discrimination against Jews is over, but it isn’t. People still deny the Holocaust exists. People still make jokes about Jews.

We believe everyone deserves love and respect. We believe targeting people for their religious beliefs is never OK. We believe hatred has no place in our community.

We stand in solidarity with the Tree of Life congregation and with Maine’s Jewish community, and we will speak up when we witness discrimination or hate.

Stephanie Royal

on behalf of Cape Elizabeth Middle School Civil Rights Team

Cape Elizabeth