Fliers containing a red and green Star of David and “Anti-Vaxxer” writing were found at seven Santa Monica public schools. The school district denounced the incidents.
A school district in Santa Monica, California, has denounced the posting of fliers linking Jews to the anti-vaccine movement at several elementary schools and middle schools, according to a local report.
“Santa Monica rejects bigotry of any kind and antisemitic rhetoric, intolerance, harassment, and violence [has] no place in our schools or in our community,” Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District spokesperson Gail Pinsker said on Thursday. “We are deeply offended by the antisemitic posters, falsely and nefariously representing pro-vaccine propaganda found at several schools.”
According to the Los Angeles Times, Thursday morning, staff at several schools discovered the fliers — which contained a red and green Star of David with “anti-vaxxer” written in white block letters — tacked on the walls, and in one instance, a crate of books. Another was posted to an electrical unit.
They were found at Edison Language Academy, Will Rogers Learning Community, Roosevelt Elementary School, McKinley Elementary School, Lincoln Middle School, and John Adams Middle School, and, the outlet said, taken down by the end of the day.
‘A very old antisemitic trope’
The report also said that the fliers listed a Kentucky phone number for an “Anti-Vax Reporting Hotline” purportedly run by the “Safer Tomorrow Organization.”
“We are a group of parents and concerned citizens securing our children’s future,” said a text message from the number, responding to an inquiry by the Times. When prompted for more information, it generated an automated reply saying that the group is “starting to collect (but not act on) information on anti-vaxxers … That way we can work toward a solution together as a society.”
Speaking to the paper yesterday, Jordanna Gessler, Vice President of Education and Exhibits at the Holocaust Museum in Los Angeles, said the fliers promoted “a very old antisemitic trope that Jews spread diseases.”
“It dates back all the way to the Middle Ages, when Jews were blamed for the Black Plague,” she said.
This week’s incident, currently under investigation by local police, followed last month’s disseminating of over 200 fliers that, according to the Beverly Hills Police Department, promoted “propaganda-style hate speech related to the COVID pandemic and the Jewish people.”