CALIFORNIA: 'Beat the Jew' game created on Facebook, played by local students

(My Desert) A group of local high school students have been playing a chase game called “Beat the Jew” that involves a runner called a “Jew” and groups of people in cars, called “Nazis.”

All people involved are willing participants in the game, Desert Sands Unified School District Superintendent Sharon McGehee said.

A La Quinta High School student created a Facebook group page about the game and officials learned more through student Facebook posts.

The Facebook group page has since been taken down but students were not reprimanded because the game did not happen at school.

“There was no threat; there was no crime,” McGehee said. “They just played a game that had an ugly, insensitive stupid name.”

Many students said they didn't know the name of the game when they played or didn't think about the insensitive nature of it and have since apologized, McGehee said.

"I guess that's the issue, they didn't think," she said.

Although there are issues of religious insensitivity, La Quinta police Lt. Jason Huskey said that if all players are willing participants, the game likely does not carry criminal implications.

"If a bunch of kids are playing a game and they're voluntarily playing a game ... it doesn't appear to have any criminal liability," he said.

Indio police spokesman Ben Guitron said that, assuming all people playing the game are willing participants, whether any criminal wrongdoing had been committed would depend on if participants using vehicles were following traffic laws.

"If they're driving, are they obeying the speed laws? Are they driving erratically?" he said. "Are they blowing lights? Are they speeding to get to them? Then there are going to be complications."

McGehee said it is her understanding that the game is also being played by other students in the valley, though she has no confirmation.

Police in Desert Hot Springs, Palm Springs, Cathedral City and Indio said they had not received word of students in their cities playing the game.

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