A Jewish family had to flee a Pennsylvania county after Fox News and Breitbart reported untrue stories that they had shut down a school Christmas play.
Centerville Elementary School in Lancaster, Pennsylvania canceled their annual production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol this year primarily because the production requires 20 hours of classroom time to put together.
“The decision had nothing to do with a religious concern; rather, the decision was made due to the amount of instructional time that this non-curricular activity had grown to require,” the school wrote on their website.
The anonymous Jewish family had asked that their child be excused from taking part in the heavily-Christian themed play in September, but had not done so much as file a complaint against the production itself.
Both Breitbart and Fox News ran articles about the Jewish family, explicitly stating that the family had forced the school to cancel the play because they objected to Tiny Tim’s line, “God bless us, everyone!”
Readers were outraged, with many commenters expressing desires to physically harm the Jewish family. “It would be nice if we had the addresses of those concerned citizens and, I bet, this info is known to people living in the area,” wrote one Breitbart commenter.
The family took their child out of school and fled the county, saying “There’s no way we’re going to take a chance after the pizza incident.” This is in reference to the man who shot his assault rifle into a pizzeria, triggered by a fake news story about the pizzeria’s fabricated relationship to a Hillary Clinton-run child sex ring.
The family’s child has also reportedly been bullied by classmates. Violence against Jews had been on an extensive decline, but has since started to rise again, an apparent correlation to renewed anti-immigrant passions flaring up in response to Donald Trump’s rise to power.
Nathan Wellman is a Los Angeles-based journalist, author, and playwright. Follow him on Twitter: @LightningWOW