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Federal agency to investigate Virginia school district’s response to reports of anti-Semitic harassment

The decision was prompted by a complaint filed by the Zionist Organization of America.

The Fairfax County Public Schools administration building in Falls Church, Va. Source: Google Maps Screenshot.
The Fairfax County Public Schools administration building in Falls Church, Va. Source: Google Maps Screenshot.

The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) this week announced it will investigate whether the Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) in Virginia failed to adequately respond to reports of incidents of anti-Semitic harassment.

OCR’s decision to delve into the allegations comes in response to a complaint filed last January by the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA). The ZOA alleged that the incidents of harassment included students giving “Heil Hitler” and other Nazi salutes; school officials allowing a wall tile display in a school hallway that included swastikas and other Nazi imagery; teachers giving classroom assignments that trivialized the Holocaust; students making comments regarding Jews and money; and other incidents.

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein praised OCR for agreeing to an investigation of what he termed “longstanding problems of anti-Semitism in the district.” Fairfax County, a suburb of Washington, D.C., has one of the largest school districts in the U.S.

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