MANHATTAN (VINnews) — Jewish teachers and parents slammed NYC Schools Chancellor David Banks for his weak “under-reaction” to antisemitic chaos, which appeared to threaten a Jewish teacher’s life at a Queens high school, according to the NY Post.Join our WhatsApp group
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“Chancellor Bank’s weak response to the antisemitic riot at Hillcrest High School failed to condemn the behavior of over 400 students that threatened the life of a teacher, solely because she is Jewish,” teacher Tova Plaut of the New York City Public School Alliance, said at the Tweed Courthouse in Manhattan.
“He failed to recognize the deep-seated Jewish hate present in our school and then doubled down on this failure by minimizing and erasing the legitimate concerns of our community,” Ms. Plaut said, surrounded by 20 supporters.
The outrage is rooted in a riot at Hillcrest H.S., when hundreds of “radicalized” rowdy students stormed the halls, forcing a Jewish teacher to hide in a locked office. Her sole offense was appearing at a pro-Israel rally on October 9
Banks spent Monday attempting to calm the situation — yet he was told by school employees that they’re afraid to come to work.
The Chancellor seemed to downplay the extreme and tumultuous behavior — despite a group of students flashing a Palestinian banner at him when he arrived at the school.
He said there had been “disciplinary action” but did not elaborate.
“This notion that this place, these kids are radicalized and antisemitic…I will not accept that at all,” he told reporters
The teachers said Banks is unaware of the reality on the ground.
“Chancellor Banks, this is your teachable moment,” Ms. Plaut said. “Stop the hate now.”
“We have heard from employees and parents who have shared experiences and evidence of Jewish hate across the school system,” said Karen Feldman, a teacher in Manhattan’s upper east side. “Hillcrest is one example among many.”
Feldman said graffiti “depicting Jewish hate” in her school went untouched for weeks, and added that last year an Israeli student’s mother said that her daughter was called a “baby killer” by other students every morning.
“I can’t imagine how these students must feel in New York City, 2023, knowing that so many people in school are wishing them harm solely because they are Jewish,” she said.
Mayor Eric Adams, whose response was also criticized, defended Banks’ during a press briefing, although he failed to mention a single consequence the students received.
“He showed up and he listened,” the mayor said. “He listened to dozens of students who talked very honestly and openly about their and their issues. He listened to teachers talk very openly honestly and other staff members about their feelings about this incident.
“Chancellor Banks made clear totally unacceptable, that [the] teacher should never have been targeted by a protest for her stand on Israel,” he added. “We cannot allow that to ever happen again.”