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MENTOR, Ohio (WJW)– The Catholic Diocese of Cleveland announced steps its taking after a Lake Catholic High School lacrosse player had a swastika on his leg during a game against Orange High School.

It happened when the two teams faced on May 16 at Orange’s campus. Parents also reported a visitor using racial slurs.

The diocese launched an investigation and the head coach of the Lake Catholic lacrosse team resigned prior to the findings being released on Wednesday.

According to the diocese, a Lake Catholic player drew a swastika on his hand with eye black, then pressed his hand on two players’ arms and one player’s leg. The students with the marks on their arms found them before the game and washed them off. The third player was unaware of the swastika on his calf until after he took the field, the Cleveland Catholic Diocese said.

“The Diocese of Cleveland and Lake Catholic High School condemn anti-Semitism in all forms, and we extend our most sincere apologies to the Orange High School community and to all Jewish and non Jewish community members alike for the hurt that has resulted from this incident,” the diocese said in a statement.

The diocese said the student responsible for stamping the mark on his teammates was not allowed to participate at graduation and his diploma is being withheld until he completes community service.

The 2022 lacrosse team will be required to attend a program developed by the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage. Graduated seniors will not get their final transcripts unless they finish the program.

The diocese is also adding curriculum,” To further promote a culture of love and respect based on the truth that each and every person has inherent dignity as a child of God who is made in His image and likeness.”

Lastly, the adult photographer who used profane language is banned from acting in an official capacity at school events in the future.

The family of the teen who had the swastika on his calf released a statement to the media Wednesday afternoon:

The display of a swastika on a young Lake Catholic lacrosse player’s calf last Monday night at the Lake Catholic – Orange High School lacrosse game was a despicable act and an outrage to the community.  Lake Catholic completed its investigation and has confirmed what the young player’s family knew all along — that the swastika placed on their sophomore son was done so without his knowledge or consent by a senior player, who has since confessed to the appalling act. 

The school completed its investigation, and the sole responsible party, the senior player, provided a written account detailing his actions, taking full responsibility, and apologizing to the school for his conduct.  The young player’s family is thankful that this investigation has now cleared their son’s name.

The young player that was marked with the swastika has been identified by name and photo on social media as being the perpetrator of the incident, despite the fact that it isn’t true. Also, contrary to initial reports in the media and online, the young player never taunted members of the opposing team or called them antisemitic slurs. In fact, the investigation confirmed that no one from the opposing team has even accused the young player of that.  

As a result of the misinformation in initial news reports and online, the young player’s family has endured much undeserved criticism and blame. They are sickened that the young player was in any way involved – even unknowingly – in an incident that has, and will, continue to cause fear, hurt and anger throughout the Jewish community and beyond. They do not condone hate speech in any form, and the swastika placed on their son’s leg was not just a violation of his body, but wholly outside his character and outside the morals and principles that his parents have worked hard to instill in him throughout his life.  

The family fully supports all plans for further education to help young people truly understand the history of the Holocaust and all other curriculum designed to teach and promote compassion towards all people.  

What happened to the young player is inexcusable and damage from the widespread and untruthful accusations have devastated his entire family. It is their hope that they will be allowed the space and time to fully heal.

This will be the only official statement from the young player’s family now that the senior player has come forward.