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Suburban Chicago high school under fire after post in yearbook about Oct. 7 attacks

Suburban Chicago high school takes heat over comment about Oct. 7 in yearbook
Suburban Chicago high school takes heat over comment about Oct. 7 in yearbook 02:35

GLENVIEW, Ill. (CBS) -- An investigation is underway at Glenbrook South High School in Glenview after the school's yearbook published a quote from a student who appeared to say they were "happy" about the Oct. 7 attacks on Israel.

A heated school board meeting on the subject was held Tuesday night.

The Glenbrook High School District 225 Board of Education started its meeting by condemning the quote that made it into the yearbook – calling it antisemitic. But some parents say an apology does not go far enough, and are calling for the adults who oversee the yearbook to be held responsible.

A sophomore whom CBS 2 is not identifying had the quote printed in the 2023-2024 yearbook about the brutal Oct. 7 attack by Hamas militants on Israel. It read in part, "The first day, I woke up and I saw what Palestine did, and I was happy because they're finally defending themselves."

Glenbrook South High School

"I was shocked that someone let that happen, and it passed through the yearbook," said District 225 student Claire Eisenstadt.

"They are communicating to the world right now that District 225 supports terror and supports hate – and that is just wrong," said District 225 parent Paul Eisenstadt.

Oct. 7 was the deadliest attack on Jews since the Holocaust. More than 1,100 men, women, and children were murdered – and hostages are still being held.

"It's problematic on many different levels – so number one, a person happy – feeling happy about atrocities that Hamas committed in Israel," said District 225 parent Oleg Ostrozhansky.

On Tuesday night, the district board apologized for the yearbook quote.

"These statements are hurtful to our students, staff, and community, and will not be condoned or tolerated," said District 225 School Board Vice President Peter Glowacki.

Joseph Milburn is an attorney with the Council on American Islamic Relations. At the meeting, he said the student who made the quote was misrepresented.

"The student has been mischaracterized for her statement, and what should be offensive is the death toll that has taken place in Gaza," he said. "The family affirms that she was not happy about any act that a certain terrorist group did."

A student with the Glenbrook South Muslim Association added, "The person who wrote the quote did so from a place of personal conviction and cultural identity."

Still, some parents are calling for accountability.

"I don't think there's any way that the district can apologize without terminating some individual who clearly said this was OK," said Paul Eisenstadt.

The board said the administrators were unaware of the quote until after it was published and distributed. An investigation has been launched, and the results will be made public in the coming weeks.

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