Breaking News
More () »

Suffield Agri-science student makes an impact | FOX61 Student News

The plant name 'Wandering Jew' was found to be Anti-Semitic and has been officially changed.

SUFFIELD, Conn — Story by Vincent Casinghino, Suffield High School

In Suffield High School's Agriscience program, one student put in the work to make a lasting change on our nation's Plant Identification Registry.

In 2022 Molly Katzman, a member of Suffield's FFA chapter, started caring for a new plant. Its common name "The Wandering Jew" was initially a point of pride for her, assuming it was based on stories from her own Jewish faith. 

However, her curiosity led her to research the actual origins of the name. She discovered that the name belonged to an anti-Semitic folktale from the 13th century, which was later proliferated by the Nazis during World War II. 

Sign up for the FOX61 newsletters: Morning Forecast, Morning Headlines, Evening Headlines

Resolved to bring the issue to light, Katzman wrote a speech dedicated to explaining the history of it, and why titles based around dangerous stereotypes deserve to be changed. 

"No one wants to find out that something they loved was based in hatred, but unfortunately that's what I discovered. [...] I love working on floral ID with my fellow Floral CDE team members, but now, every time I reach the end of the list, I will be reminded of a terrible part of history that is still affecting my life." 

Her writing made an impression. Molly got in contact with a member of the FFA Board, and her work warranted that the topic be brought before Connecticut government. 

After its impact on the state, the issue was moved on to the national level. Now in the United States, Tradescantia zebrina's common name is officially "Silver Inch plant."

The FOX 61 Student News program empowers Connecticut middle and high school students to explore the world of multi-media journalism by giving them the opportunity to capture, edit and publish original content under the guidance of industry professionals.

Each student produced and hosted segment will showcase a local story or event, highlighting all that is great about our state. Segments will be featured on-air during Friday's Morning News at 7:45 a.m., 5:45 p.m. and 10:45 p.m. news and during the FOX61 Morning News on Saturday at 7 a.m., on our Facebook page and right here on FOX61.com!

Stay tuned and keep an eye out for the next news star! If your school would like to get involved learn more here or email us at studentnews@fox61.com.

Have a story idea or something on your mind you want to share? We want to hear from you! Email us at newstips@fox61.com


Download the FOX61 News APP

iTunes: Click here to download

Google Play: Click here to download

Stream Live on ROKU: Add the channel from the ROKU store or by searching FOX61.

Steam Live on FIRE TV: Search ‘FOX61’ and click ‘Get’ to download.


Before You Leave, Check This Out