A high school Jewish organization’s yearbook photo was reportedly replaced with one of Muslim students in what the East Brunswick, New Jersey, mayor called a “blatant antisemitic” act

Mayor Brad Cohen demanded answers about why there was “a picture of Muslim students replacing the original photograph of the Jewish students that are part of the Jewish Student Union Club” in the East Brunswick (EB) High School yearbook. “In addition, there is a complete absence of names of the Jewish students,” he said Tuesday in a statement posted to Facebook.

East Brunswick Public School System Superintendent Dr. Victor Valeski said an investigation was ongoing. He assured the community that the yearbooks were only administered to seniors before the error was discovered and that the books will be recalled and reprinted. 

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“I am devastated and frustrated,” Valeski said in a Wednesday statement. “Above all, I personally, along with the entire East Brunswick Board of Education, sincerely apologize for the hurt, pain and anguish this event has caused our Jewish students, their families and the impact this continues to have on the entire EB community.”

The district has contacted several professionals, including the board of education attorney, the ACLU, the yearbook publisher and the executive county superintendent and made the superintendent’s office the point of contact for the investigation, according to Valeski’s statement to the community. He also called on individuals and organizations “to slow their rush to judgment.”

“Because the yearbook is produced using publishing software, we have digital tracking for every element added or deleted from a page,” Valeski told Fox News Digital. “We have not found any evidence that a picture was replaced or student names were deleted. In fact, the student names were never populated for the Jewish Student Union.”

Valeski told Fox News Digital he planned to recommend the district’s Board of Education enlist a special counsel to complete an independent investigation. 

“We already have a new proof of the corrected page and the publisher will be in East Brunswick next week to begin replacing it in student yearbooks,” he said. 

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Later on Wednesday, Valeski apologized to the community’s Muslim students and families. 

“As I mentioned impacts to our Jewish students and families earlier today, I want to offer sincere apologies to our Muslim students and families, as well,” he posted. “I am aware that the picture placed in the yearbook has caused pain for our Muslim students and for that I am deeply sorry.”

“We work every day to foster an inclusive school environment for all EB students but I realize that new work needs to be done every day to make that a reality,” Valeski added.

Meanwhile, the mayor said the administration needs to determine how the situation happened, who is responsible, who signed off on the page, how perpetrators will be held accountable and if the act constitutes a hate crime. He said he would await the investigation results, but encouraged the district to do so quickly. 

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“I have been assured that they will provide their findings to the public when the investigation has been completed,” Cohen said in his Tuesday statement. “At a minimum, I have also been assured that new yearbooks will be ordered and distributed with the correct pictures and names.”

“Hate has no place in East Brunswick and Anti-Semitism will not be tolerated,” he said. 

Fox News Digital reached out to Cohen for further comment.