Mahar hires special ed teacher fired from Duxbury for football team’s antisemitic audibles

  • Ralph C. Mahar Regional School in Orange. STAFF FILE PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Staff Writer
Published: 10/14/2021 12:36:20 PM

ORANGE — The football coach and special education teacher fired from Duxbury High School in March due to antisemitic language his players used to change plays on the field now works as a special education teacher at Ralph C. Mahar Regional School.

Dave Maimaron was hired Aug. 26 to fill one of six vacant special education teaching positions and will not coach sports for the school district, according to Superintendent Elizabeth Teahan-Zielinski.

“He is certified and qualified for the position,” she wrote in an email to the Greenfield Recorder. “I am unable to respond to specifics regarding personnel matters or confidential communications made with parents and/or guardians.”

Maimaron did not return requests for comment. His name is absent from Mahar’s online staff directory.

Massachusetts high schools played football in the spring, as opposed to the fall, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In March, Duxbury football players were heard using antisemitic language for their audibles, which are play changes made by the offense or defense after the huddle breaks and before the ball is snapped.

The Washington Post reported that Robert Trestan, director of the Anti-Defamation League’s New England region, said he had been told by then-district Superintendent John Antonucci that Maimaron’s players had used words such as “Auschwitz,” “rabbi” and “dreidel” as audibles during the March 12 game against Plymouth North High School, which alerted officials.

Auschwitz was the concentration camp in Nazi-occupied Poland where an estimated 1.1 million people, mostly Jews, died during the Holocaust after Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany in 1933. Many of these people were killed in gas chambers. A rabbi is a spiritual leader and teacher versed in Jewish law, and a dreidel is a four-sided spinning top played with during the Jewish holiday Hanukkah.

Other audibles reportedly used by the football term included “Hitler,” “gas chambers” and “Holocaust.”

“It’s deeply hurtful to the Jewish community to learn that the plays somehow connect to the Holocaust and Judaism,” Trestan told The Associated Press. “This is a really serious situation. There are indications of a systemic failure both on and off the field.”

Maimaron was put on paid administrative leave as a special education teacher and the school hired a law firm to conduct an investigation.

“On behalf of the staff and players of the Duxbury High School football team, I want to extend my apology for the insensitive, crass and inappropriate language used in the game on March 12th,” Maimaron said in a statement printed by The Washington Post. “Using the term was careless, unnecessary and most importantly hurtful on its face — inexcusable.”

According to the Boston Herald, Maimaron sent the newspaper a statement claiming that the use of the words “rabbi” and “dreidel” was initiated several years ago by Maimaron’s Jewish players as a nickname for the play call “Rabbit.”

“They claimed, tongue in cheek, that Jewish culture was ‘underrepresented’ in the football program,” Maimaron said in the statement.

The Herald also reports an outside investigator submitted his independent investigation claiming football players used antisemitic slurs at practices as far back as 2010.

Reach Domenic Poli at dpoli@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 262.




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