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why REPORT?

As Israeli and Jewish Americans, we see no shortage of antisemitism and anti-Zionism in our society and there is no such thing as a “minor” incident of discrimination. This happens even in our school systems, despite the purpose of schools being to inclusively educate children without political bias or bigotry of any kind. To effectively educate our communities on the dangers of antisemitism, and to protect our schools from discrimination, we must speak up and demand action, each and every time antisemitism rears its ugly head.

Bullying and Harassment

Preventing antisemitic discrimination is of paramount importance to the IAC, especially since we know that discriminatory behavior can often escalate to violence. Instances of antisemitic language or bullying can often be used as a teachable moment. Educating students, teachers, and administrators on the dangerous history and consequences of antisemitism can help prevent future acts of violence by people who may have otherwise remained ignorant. If any kind of bullying or harassment persists, you may consider bringing the issue to the attention of higher-level education officials like superintendents or school board members. Consistent harassment of Jewish and Israeli students will not be tolerated and should be reported to school leaders as soon as they arise. We also highly recommend submitting an incident report to School Watch so that we can follow the progress and provide any assistance that may be needed.

Vandalism

Vandalism is the original form of anonymous internet hate and continues to be the most frequently reported expression of antisemitism. We often see vandalism containing swastikas, epithets, and vulgar language, which are perpetrated by people too cowardly to take responsibility and claim ownership of their hate. School leaders are traditionally supportive of combatting these acts since they trigger widespread public outrage. If antisemitic and hateful vandalism is not taken seriously by any school, the IAC can provide additional support.

Biased Educators

When an educator willingly chooses to use problematic content and push politically motivated, hateful lessons, we must educate the teacher and counter these clear biases. Teachers have reportedly assigned readings that inaccurately describe the creation of the State of Israel and label Zionism as racism. This is unacceptable and hurtful. By reporting incidents like this, IAC is working to educate teachers on the dangers of antisemitism in the classroom.

Biased Content in the Classroom

Some textbooks and educational materials currently used in both public and private schools contain politically inclined or otherwise problematic content. Materials used to teach about the Middle East, and the State of Israel often misrepresent the complicated history and contain one-sided explanations that lack nuance. The history of Jews in the United States is also taught minimally or not at all, which has led to fundamental misunderstandings about Jewish and Israeli culture and heritage. Such content does not promote understand and inclusivity nor does it encourage productive conversation about minorities in our country. Some educators may not be aware of the problematic nature of these materials, and others may choose specifically to teach antisemitic messaging.

District Leadership and School Boards

The IAC has been successful in our efforts with school district leaders and boards of education across the country to combat antisemitism in education. We have sent letters, circulated petitions, and introduced resolutions to help higher-level community leaders better identify and combat antisemitic discrimination in schools. If you have trouble addressing issues with teachers, principals, or other school staff, the next step is to reach out to superintendents, school boards, and district leaders. The IAC can help you prepare for these conversations and create specific goals to ensure a productive conversation and satisfactory conclusion.

Whether negative opinions towards Israeli and Jewish American students are inherited from family members, developed through biases in the classroom, or learned from internet trolls, expressions of hate have no place in our communities. Help us eliminate antisemitic violence and end bullying of Jewish and Israeli students by reporting incidents to School Watch.