School Ties

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School Ties, a film by Robert Mandel, is the story of a Jewish boy, David Greene, who is recruited to play football for an elite private school. David Greene hides his religion from his schoolmates and teachers because the school is made up of Christians. Soon after David begins to feel accepted by his classmates, Charlie Dillon, a jealous rival of Greene’s, exposes him as being Jewish. All of Greene’s friends turn on him and David begins to be tormented by his peers. Later, Dillion cheats on a test. The teacher decides that unless the cheater comes forward, he will fail the entire class. While the classmates are deciding who the culprit is, a momentum is built and the students begin to behave differently than they would if group did not surround them. The classmates turn on Greene even though a few of them originally thought that Dillion cheated. This change in behavior due to the safeness of a crowd mixed with fear, panic, and ignorance is called a mob mentality.
Thefirst instance of mob mentality in School Ties occurs soon after the students discover that David Greene is Jewish. The students turn on David and begin to be hurtful toward him. A few students try to intercede by asking each other questions like “Well how many Jews have you had in your house?” Most of the students had never directly met a Jewish person. The ignorant students assumed that Jewish people were money-hungry and generally bad people because of what they had heard from other people. David’s peers were scared because they believed that David’s religion changed who he was as a person and it separated him from them. Chris Reece, David’s room-mate asked David why he didn’t tell him that he was Jewish. David retorted by asking Chris Reece what religion he was and why he had not told David before.The students believed that David’s religion was so different and foreign and that it seperated them so much that it was his duty to inform them.