Fifth-Grade Graduation Descends into Chaos: Jewish Family Plans $100 Million Lawsuit Against NYC

A fifth-grade graduation ceremony at PS 682 in Gravesend, Brooklyn, turned violent, prompting a Jewish family to pursue a $100 million lawsuit against New York City. The incident, which occurred on June 14, escalated into a brawl where the family alleges they were targeted for their Jewish identity.

Lana Lerner, who documented part of the altercation, described how the ceremony took a troubling turn when a student displayed a graduation cap reading “Free Palestine” and carried a Palestinian flag. Tensions heightened during photo-taking, leading to verbal exchanges that spiraled into physical violence. Lerner recounted her husband’s attempt to calm the situation, only to be sucker-punched along with their teenage son.

The aftermath left the Lerner family with visible injuries, including cuts and bruises, reflecting the intensity of the confrontation. The disturbance was eventually quelled by teachers, but the emotional impact on the families involved was profound, overshadowing what should have been a joyous occasion.

Attorney Sanford Rubenstein, representing the Lerner family, called for hate crime charges against the assailants and urged a thorough investigation into the incident. Meanwhile, the NYC Department of Education condemned the violence and affirmed ongoing efforts to investigate the matter, emphasizing their commitment to ensuring safety and decorum at school events.

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The case underscores broader concerns about hate-fueled incidents and the need for heightened vigilance against intolerance in educational settings. As legal proceedings unfold, the outcome will likely influence policies governing political expressions and the safeguarding of inclusive environments within schools across the city.

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