On April 17, 2019 Bernie Farber, the Chair the Canadian AntiHate Network, issued the following statement:
“This was a serious act of antisemitism though whether it rises to the level of ‘one of the most serious and vicious examples of antisemitism in a Canadian public school’ is debatable. I recall Jewish children being bullied, intimidated, having coins thrown at them in public schools in Waterloo during the teaching of the Merchant of Venice. There are other examples as well. All to say that in my view it is always better to use these racist acts as teachable moments.
“Students make mistakes, teachers do as well. Sometimes they make horrible mistakes that engender antisemitism and racism. Black and gay children, Muslim children like Jewish children and others who face the spectre of discrimination know exactly what I mean. This is a time to teach and turn this situation around by bringing those responsible to a better understanding of the truth and how their actions impacted antisemitism.
“Only by teaching empathetically can we change minds and attitudes. As the Passover/Easter season comes upon us this week, let us commit to learning from our mistakes, embracing the good in each of us and celebrating our differences.”
On April 12, 2019 the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) stated:
“CIJA has learned that students at Stephen Lewis Secondary School in Peel Region have launched a campaign promoting the antisemitic lie that Israelis harvest Palestinian organs and conduct ‘human testing’ of pharmaceuticals on Palestinians. We have credible evidence that this campaign is taking place in the school and on social media, allegedly as part of a class project.
“We are shocked and outraged. If true, this is one of the most serious and vicious examples of antisemitism in a Canadian public school CIJA has seen.
“CIJA immediately contacted senior Peel District School Board officials seeking answers, demanding the project end immediately, and calling for those responsible to be held accountable. We have also offered to conduct antisemitism training for the school and the board, similar to programs we have run for the Toronto District School Board and the Canadian Human Rights Commission. We will keep community members updated.”