Protesters blame Chancellor Banks for allowing ‘openly accepted’ antisemitism in NYC schools: ‘Done nothing’

Protesters blame Chancellor Banks for allowing ‘openly accepted’ antisemitism in NYC schools: ‘Done nothing’

Dozens of angry ralliers braved heavy rains outside the Brooklyn Museum Wednesday to protest antisemitism in public schools — which they claim Chancellor David Banks has “done nothing” to prevent.

About 35 protesters bearing large Israel flags and “Educate Against Hate” signs showed up for the “Hey Chancellor Banks: What about Brooklyn” rally, an organized call for the city Department of Education to follow through on its promise to eradicate antisemitism from its schools.

The protest was announced just days after The Post published an exclusive story on rampant antisemitism at a Brooklyn high school whose students have allegedly tormented their Jewish teachers and peers since the outbreak of the Hamas-Gaza war in October.

Protesters hold signs outside the Brooklyn Museum.

About 35 protesters rallied outside the Brooklyn Museum to condemn antisemitism in public schools. Desheania Andrews / NY Post

“How are we back in a time where antisemitism is not just openly accepted, but also taught? The only answer I can give is that we missed the signs,” Lisa Liss, a parent of a Jewish public school student, said at the rally.

“Antisemitism is and always has been a warning sign of a sick and broken society, a society largely devoid of truth. This means that antisemitism is not like any other form of hate or discrimination and to continuously say that it is an immediate failure at addressing it.” 

The ralliers demanded that Banks take action to protect Jewish students in Big Apple public schools, who they claimed have increasingly become targets in the months following the Oct. 7 Hamas massacre of 1,200 Israelis.

Last month, Banks unveiled the three-pronged approach that focused on “education, safety and engagement” to target hate within schools. The plan included “tangible consequences” for students and training and support workshops for educators and parents.

The plan, however, has done little to quell the prejudice among students — particularly in Brooklyn.

“Chancellor Banks you’ve done nothing. We haven’t heard from you. We haven’t seen any improvement and we see things even going into more disarray— every day another horrific story coming out of these public schools,” Michelle Ahdoot, the director of programming and strategy at End Jew Hate, which organized the event, said.

Protesters hold signs outside the Brooklyn Museum.

The rally was organized days after a Brooklyn teacher filed a lawsuit alleging that her students have been terrorizing Jewish students and staff. Desheania Andrews / NY Post

“Chancellor Banks enough is enough. We need answers. We don’t know what’s going on. Is it incompetence, is it Jew hatred? I think it’s a little bit of both, but we need some answers.” 

Marty Weinstein, the retired superintendent of District 19, accused Banks of malpractice and of neglecting his “basic charge as an educator.”

Student Gabriel, a Jewish senior at an unidentified Brooklyn high school, told the small group of protesters that his teachers have peddled biased information in class and expressed hope that Hezbollah would reign victorious over Israel.

Protesters hold signs outside the Brooklyn Museum.

Chancellor David Banks unveiled the three-pronged approach last month to target antisemitism in schools. Desheania Andrews / NY Post

When Gabriel tried to push back against the rhetoric, the teacher allegedly shot him down and said he wouldn’t allow political discussions in his classroom.

“Chancellor — You are failing at your job. And by ignoring my experiences and my brothers’ experiences and many other Jewish students and teachers you are helping to propel antisemitism,” the teenager said.

Antisemitism has been a longstanding issue at New York City public schools that has largely stayed under the radar until the outbreak of the Middle Eastern war, some of the ralliers argued.

Protesters wave Israel flag outside the Brooklyn Museum.

Retired District 19 superintendent Marty Weinstein accused Banks of malpractice. Desheania Andrews / NY Post

Origins High School in Sheepshead Bay was one school known to locals for its subtle hate until global history teacher Danielle Kaminsky filed a lawsuit claiming the students terrorized their Jewish teachers and classmates.

Shortly after the war broke out in October, dozens of teens stormed through the hallways chanting “Death to Israel” and “Kill all the Jews,” according to Kaminsky.

The city DOE said it was investigating her claims, but has so far not found any evidence.

Protesters hold signs outside the Brooklyn Museum.

The city DOE said it was investigating claims of rampant antisemitism at Origins High School, but has not yet found any evidence. Desheania Andrews / NY Post

“They’re laughing they’re not taking us seriously,” said Luke Moon, the Deputy Director of Christian advocacy group Philo Projects, adding that he knew of students who transferred from Origins in the past to escape its rampant hate.

“And the good thing about that school by the way, there’s a lawsuit coming that is major— a violation of state law and everything else, they don’t know what’s gonna hit them.” 

During the rainy rally, three anti-protesters stood outside the Brooklyn Museum with signs that read “I am a Jewish Parent and I support our teachers” and “NYCPS Alliance stokes hate that makes our kids and teachers feel unsafe.” 

When asked for comment by The Post, the trio declined, saying they did not believe the Post would “get their message across.” 

A brief yelling match between the groups ensued but ended when the anti-protesters walked away from the rally.


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