The month since 10/7 has begged the question: is bigotry now acceptable in America’s schools?
Even though the Hamas attack on Israel saw the most significant number of Jews die violently in a single day since the Holocaust, many faculty and administrators in schools
In the world before 10/7, school districts seemingly had no problem punishing employees who espoused bigotry (real or perceived) or targeted specific groups. But perplexingly, so many of the undeniably hateful, antisemitic words and antics we’ve seen in K-12 schools over the past month have remained free from any consequences.
Earlier this year, a teacher at the Jurupa Unified School District in California was fired for refusing to keep the chosen gender identities of students hidden from their parents. Last year, a teacher at Jackson Memorial Middle School in Ohio was forced to resign for refusing to use the preferred pronouns of students who identify as transgender. These educators and others found themselves out of work for merely transgressing against the latest progressive orthodoxy.
Fast-forward to the last four weeks, and we see that even the most heartless and ignorance-filled statements by school faculty are no big deal as long as they’re aimed at recently terrorized Jews.
The week after the Hamas attack, the board of Fairfax County Public Schools held a moment of silence to demonstrate solidarity with those affected by the bloodshed. Just moments later, board member Abrar Omeish condemned the gesture as a “sneak attack,” excused the actions of Hamas (“no justice, no peace”), and then slandered Israel as an “apartheid regime of occupation.”
Omeish’s radicalism isn’t recent. In 2021, she stated on Facebook that “Israel kills Palestinians & desecrates the Holy Land right now”. She added that “apartheid & colonization were wrong yesterday and will be today, here and there.”
Despite Omeish’s open hatred for the world’s only Jewish country, she still holds office as a member of Fairfax County’s school board and has not appeared to face any repercussions.
On October 14, a teacher at Gotham Tech High School in New York City named Mohammad Jehad Ahmad changed his Facebook cover photo to an image of a Hamas paraglider, indicating flagrant support
After Ahmad was called out for his Hamas fanhood, he doubled down on social media. He called Israel a “settler colony” that exists “through terrorism, dispossession, ethnic cleansing, and ongoing incremental genocide.” He declared that supporting Israel is the equivalent of supporting “white supremacist terror.”
When the New York City Department of Education’s chancellor sent out a post-10/7 email claiming to “unequivocally condemn these horrific acts of violence,” Ahmad responded by calling the chancellor a “white supremacist, imperialist, scumbag.” Unsurprisingly, the teacher’s X (formerly Twitter) profile displays his support for the radical Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which exists to cripple Israel financially,
Ahmad has continued to attack Israel on social media since the initial controversy. Still, despite making it impossible for any Jewish students to feel safe in his classroom, he has yet to face any ramifications for his hate.
Also last month, the superintendent of Revere Public Schools in Massachusetts sent an email to staff following the Hamas attack, which included a link to a resource that states, “Israeli terrorism has been significantly worse than that of the Palestinians.” This same resource explicitly asserts that Israel should seek “a compromise” with its Hamas tormentors.
These are just a few of many snapshots of the same anti-Israel bigotry with the same outcome: zero consequences or accountability.
It seems that while school staff across the country are strictly prohibited from even mistakenly using pronouns that match a student’s biological sex but not “gender identity,” they have full permission to overtly support genocidal terrorists who want to massacre Jews.
Concerned parents in districts where antisemitism is tolerated must speak up now before this evil ideology corrupts more young minds. School administrators who see the ongoing hate for what it is must take action. The poisoning of America’s education system will only continue until all commonsense Americans decide enough is finally enough.
Casey Ryan is a staff writer at Parents Defending Education.