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Federal lawsuit alleges antisemitic environment, retaliation at Brooklyn high school

“Swastikas, death threats and Hitler glorification are all a result of a failure to properly educate our youth, and we must assign consequences to bad actors,” says a city council member.

An aerial view over Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn, N.Y. Credit: Wirestock Creators/Shutterstock.
An aerial view over Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn, N.Y. Credit: Wirestock Creators/Shutterstock.

A school teacher and public security officer have filed a federal lawsuit against a public school in Brooklyn, N.Y., in addition to several of its employees, New York City and the city’s top education official, alleging a tolerance and platforming for antisemitic harassment and retaliation.

Danielle Kaminsky and Michael Beaudry launched the suit in district court. The two worked at Origins High School in Sheepshead Bay, which became the subject of a New York City Police Department investigation following a death threat directed towards Jewish teachers.

The suit alleges that the school failed to contain a group of students who, after the Hamas terrorist attacks in Israel on Oct. 7, “engaged in a broad campaign of hate speech while on school premises.”

That allegedly included calls for violence against Jews, the end of Israel and the glorification of Adolf Hitler. The campaign, the plaintiffs say, was conducted through vandalism of school property, emails, text messages, taunts and notes directed to Jewish students and teachers.

That included an email that said “All Jews need to be exterminated” and labeled Kaminsky a “foul whiny Jew” who should be “put to an end” by a Muslim student.

Kaminsky, who has been teaching at Origins since 2017, alleges that she was dismissed, ridiculed and retaliated against when she brought her concerns to school administrators. Beaudry, who serves as campus director, alleges that he was hit with disciplinary infractions for reporting the antisemitic acts and other threats.

Dara Kammerman, who is among the named defendants, serves as interim assistant principal. It is alleged in the lawsuit that she carried out retaliation against Beaudry, presented slanted views of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to students and allowed a group of students to promote at an assembly a rally taking place nearby that was to “honor the martyrs,” referring to the Hamas murderers and rapists who carried out the atrocities of Oct. 7 that led to the deaths of 1,200 people and the kidnapping of more than 250 men, women and children.

New York City Department of Education Chancellor David C. Banks is also named in the suit. Banks has been summoned to testify before Congress this week on his reportedly lackluster efforts to rein in antisemitism across a number of schools, where some teachers and administrators led anti-Israel activities, including walkouts and politically tinged notices to parents expressing anti-Israel views.

New York City Council member Inna Vernikov, who represents the district where Origins is located, said in a statement that “antisemitic harassment, bullying and woke indoctrination have become the norm across our public school system. Swastikas, death threats and Hitler glorification are all a result of a failure to properly educate our youth, and we must assign consequences to bad actors.”

Vernikov said she hopes that the lawsuit will “set a precedent that will be replicated in all cases of unmitigated antisemitism within New York City public schools.”

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