Over 100 students from the Yeshiva of Flatbush school were kicked off an AirTran flight that was headed to Atlanta from New York’s LaGuardia airport on Monday morning, reported CNN. While the airline claims that their dismissal from the flight was the result of disorderly students refusing to turn off their cell phones and stay seated, the students and their chaperones believe that their apparent religious affiliation may have come into play.

"We take this matter seriously and have started our own investigation," a statement by Rabbi Seth Linfield, executive director of the Yeshiva of Flatbush school, read. "Preliminarily, it does not appear that the action taken by the flight crew was justified."

According to a statement from AirTran, the flight attendants had made repeated attempts to get the young passengers to comply with flight protocol – turning off mobile devices, sitting in their seats, buckling their seatbelts, etc. When the flight attendants failed to get order on the flight, the captain apparently repeated their requests to no avail.

As a result of the AirTran crew kicking the Yeshiva group off of the flight, it was delayed nearly 45 minutes. Since the Boeing 737 seated roughly 137 people, their dismissal left the plane mostly vacant. The airline then split the students up on a number of separate flights to reach their intended destination of Atlanta.


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One of the students who were kicked off the plane did not feel as though AirTran’s actions were warranted. “They treated us like we were terrorists; I've never seen anything like it. I'm not someone to make these kinds of statements," Jonathan Zehavi said. "I think if it was a group of non-religious kids, the air stewardess wouldn't have dared to kick them off."

The Yeshiva students were embarking on a three-day senior class trip to Atlanta, where they were to have a rafting excursion as well as a trip to a Six Flags theme park.

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