We've just moved to a small town in the middle of the Bible Belt and my two oldest kids are in school after being homeschooled for 7 years. My daughter is a freshman at the town high school (under 1000 students) and my son is a 3rd grader at the local Montessori (21 kids in his 3-5 class).
We're Jewish (and my husband is Buddhist) and this town is predominately Baptist with a fair few Evangelicals and Presbyterians thrown in. As far as I know there is only one other Jewish family with kids in the whole town.
In the early weeks of school my daughter's so-called friends were calling her "Jew Girl" because the "forgot" her name. I told my daughter that I found that really offensive but she said she didn't mind. Figuring she's 14 and able to decide for herself what offends, I let it go at that. She reports that they have now mostly stopped calling her "Jew Girl".
Then yesterday my son came home from school and told me 2 of his classmates had declared "Jews are freaky". He was upset by that and had told his teacher. Teacher reportedly talked to the kids but my son doesn't know what was said. I called and left a voicemail for the teacher right after school but as of 10am this morning I still haven't heard from her. She is also the director of the school.
The kids at my son's school are the children of people I've met recently and liked. They are my husband's colleagues and this is a very small town, and his work community is even smaller. I'm hesitant to make waves and alienate people, but....this really pisses me off! I don't know the kids, or parents, who were calling my daughter "Jew Girl".
How would you handle this? I'd love to be able to pack up and move to somewhere bigger and more diverse and open-minded but sadly that isn't an option!