The decision to eject the senior class of the Yeshiva of Flatbush in Brooklyn from a flight was not anti-Semitic, an internal school report found.
AirTran Airways “abused its discretion” in forcing the 101 students off the early morning flight June 3 to their senior trip in Atlanta, according to the report, obtained by the Times of Israel and authored by the yeshiva’s executive director, Rabbi Seth Linfield.
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. The report found that students erred by not turning off their cellphones.
“At no time did the students disrespect the flight crew in words or tone — beyond not immediately complying with the directives… to turn off all electronic devices,” the report said, according to the report.
The yeshiva said the airline crew rejected offers of assistance from the seven school chaperones in controlling the students and that the medias headline the incident because of claims that the airplane officials acted out of anti-Semitism.
The yeshiva apologized to AirTran, a subsidiary of Southwest Airlines, “to the extent that any of our students behaved in a way that was perceived by the flight crew to be disrespectful or disobedient.”
It also praised AirTran for giving vouchers to the students to continue on to Atlanta and working to rebook them.