‘Reprehensible, non-stop’ antisemitism in Calif. schools: Complaint

Teachers stood idly by while students chanted “Kill the Jews,” according to the federal complaint.

By World Israel News Staff

Jewish civil rights groups lodged a federal complaint against the Berkeley Unified School District, located in California’s Bay Area, for allowing unchecked antisemitism on its elementary, middle, and high school campuses.

The Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law and ADL (the Anti-Defamation League) filed the complaint with the U.S. Department of Education, charging that the schools had permitted “non-stop bullying and harassment” of Jewish students, teachers, and staff since the October 7th Hamas massacre.

The complaint also states that rather than take action to rectify the hostile environment for Israeli and Jewish students, administrators ignored parent complaints, and even allowed teachers to use school hours and resources to encourage anti-Zionist protests.

Described within the complaint are numerous examples of antisemitic bullying, including teachers not intervening while students chanted “Kill the Jews,” F— the Jews,” F— Israel,” “Kill Israel,” and “From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be free.”

Dozens of students reported suffering peer-on-peer harassment in which they were singled out for their Jewish heritage, along with several teachers taking time out of their lessons to go on antisemitic rants against Israel and Zionists.

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“The eruption of antisemitism in Berkeley’s elementary and high schools is like nothing I’ve ever seen before,” said Kenneth L. Marcus, chairman of the Brandeis Center and the former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education for the George W. Bush and Donald Trump administrations, said in a media statement.

“It is dangerous enough to see faculty fanning the flames of antisemitism on college campuses, but to see teachers inciting hate in the youngest of grades while Berkeley administrators sit idly by as it continues to escalate by the day is reprehensible. Where is the accountability? Where are the people who are supposed to protect and educate students?”

By not taking action, the Berkeley School District is in violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination based on ethnicity or religion in federally-funded institutions, the complaint asserts.