update deskSchools & Higher Education

Jewish group files Title VI complaint against Dallas School District

“When antisemitism is allowed to continue unchecked, it is not merely the Jewish people but society as a whole that suffers,” Roz Rothstein, the activist group’s co-founder and CEO, told JNS.

Dallas Independent School District Human Development Building, the site of a former Safeway store. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.
Dallas Independent School District Human Development Building, the site of a former Safeway store. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

The Israel-education organization StandWithUs submitted a Title VI complaint this week to the U.S. Department of Education for potential violation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

The nonprofit announced that on April 9, it provided discrimination claims at the Dallas Independent School District to the federal agency. The complaint states that Jewish students have experienced verbal taunts and harassment that referenced Hitler, Nazi Germany, the gas chambers at Auschwitz and the Holocaust, in addition to anti-Jewish slurs. A student found swastikas drawn in bathrooms, one of which featured writing that advocated burning Jews.

“Many of these incidents occurred in plain sight of teachers and administrators, both in the classroom and in school common areas, but the school took no action to protect Jewish students,” SWU stated.

“With the ongoing rise of antisemitism throughout the country, Jewish students must be assured that their places of education are safe and welcoming,” Roz Rothstein, co-founder and CEO of SWU, told JNS. “This includes knowing that faculty and administrators will promptly address incidents of identity-based harassment, including by providing necessary education to members of the school community.”

The unnamed student who co-filed the complaint attends Hillcrest High School in North Dallas. “Throughout my entire high school experience, I have been a victim of harassment and bullying due to being Jewish,” said the student. “It has been extremely difficult to attend a school where both students and staff enable antisemitism and face no consequences.”

The student refused to change schools since “doing so would cause the problem to continue, allowing the school and all its administrators to avoid making changes and being held accountable.”

Rothstein said “when antisemitism is allowed to continue unchecked, it is not merely the Jewish people but society as a whole that suffers. Our educational institutions must be places where students are educated about how to fight hate rather than being indoctrinated into it.”

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