The Duxbury High School football team in Massachusetts used anti-Semitic terms as play calls, school officials confirmed Wednesday when they announced the termination of the team's coach. Dave Maimaron, who coached the team to five championships since he was hired in 2005, was fired from that role; he was also placed on paid administrative leave from his role as a teacher at the school while an investigation is completed, the New York Times reports. Games scheduled for the next few days have been canceled, and officials said a decision on the rest of the season will be made later. The school is working with the Anti-Defamation League on a response to the incident, which officials called "horrifying and disappointing," and a private lawyer has been retained to carry out a complete probe.
"It is important to note that while the players clearly demonstrated poor judgment, the responsibility for this incident also lies with the adults overseeing the program," the school district said in a statement. "In short, this was a systemic failure." An ADL official says players substituted terms including "Auschwitz" for names of plays during a March 12 game, CBS Boston reports, but, per the Patriot-Ledger, he adds that school officials need to be more transparent about what exactly was said and how long it had been going on. Maimaron had issued a statement Monday after the incident began making headlines; he says "using the term was careless, unnecessary and most importantly hurtful on its face—inexcusable." He went on to say that he has a "multiracial family" and works to help "students and athletes of all races, religions and capabilities to become the best they can be." (Read more anti-Semitism stories.)