The senior class of Yeshiva of Flatbush in Brooklyn was kicked off a flight Southwest Airlines flight from New York to Atlanta on Monday for being “non-compliant.”
Flight attendants said the students did not stay seated and continued to use their mobile devices in advance of takeoff, despite their requests as well as from the captain.
Chaperones interviewed by CNN said the flight crew overreacted and that some of the 101 students had to be told twice to sit down and turn off their devices, but that they all complied.
One of the students, Jonathan Zehavi, told CNN that the class was targeted because they were identifiably Jewish.
“They treated us like we were terrorists; I’ve never seen anything like it,” Zehavi said. “I’m not someone to make these kinds of statements. I think if it was a group of non-religious kids, the air stewardess wouldn’t have dared to kick them off.”
The airline gave the students travel vouchers to continue on to their trip’s destination. The students went on several different flights, some taking up to 12 hours to meet up with the group.