(September 30, 2020 / JNS) A petition has been launched calling for action against anti-Semitism in a California school district following social-media posts targeting students, including Jewish ones.
Critics have said this exemplifies an overall hostile culture against Jewish students at the Redwood High School in Larkspur, Calif., about a half-hour from San Francisco.
Earlier this month, an Instagram account was discovered with a bigoted caricature that read, “Redwood Students organized in anti semitism. Currently compiling a google doc of Jews in the district. Hit us up if you want to help! wehatej3ws dot com.”
Stacy Friedman, senior rabbi at Congregation Rodef Shalom in San Rafael, Calif., told ABC San Francisco affiliate KGO-TV, “This is what happened in Nazi Germany, when they collected a list of Jewish names, targeted them for slaughter. Some of these students who were targeted, this is how their grandparents and great grandparents were killed.”
Friedman said that Jewish students have been targeted in schools in Marin County, where the high school is located.
“Children have found swastikas on their lockers, on their books, their cars in the parking lots,” she said. “These are things we’ve been hearing about the past few years.”
Friedman also noted that a Jewish student at Terra Linda High School was attacked on Zoom; another student “said all Jews and all Israelis deserve to go to hell.”
According to KGO-TV, “recently, a photo of a young person holding a shell casing while wearing a helmet with a swastika, circulated on Snapchat among Marin students.”
Central Marin Police is investigating the matter.
Redwood High School principal David Sondheim told the outlet that “the posts are reprehensible,” and that the school is also looking into it.
“The offenses committed are suspendable and expellable,” he said.
Meanwhile, a petition launched last week calling on Tara Taupier—superintendent of the Tamalpais Union High School District in Marin that oversees Redwood—and district board members for action amid what it alleges is a “lack of action against the recent and ongoing acts of anti-Semitism by members of Redwood High School.”
“Too often is anti-Semitism swept under the rug by Redwood and the Tam District as a whole,” it continued. “This form of hatred is of the same importance as racism, misogyny and bigotry, yet it is treated as inferior.”
“Our safety is threatened by the list and the pictures posted by the student. The list of Jewish students paired with the image of the swastika and the bullet produces an uncanny resemblance to the use of lists during the Nazi Regime,” added the petition. “The idea of going back to school with a student whose beliefs align with those of Nazis is inconceivable.”
“We believe the ‘action’ taken thus far by the administration has done nothing to make us feel secure and safe. This student has gotten away with offensive behavior for far too long and this recent escalation is a direct result of the lack of attention given by the district.”
The letter was signed by “Lindsay Felder, Samantha Glickman and the Redwood Student Body.”
The petition has almost 5,780 signatures.
Support Jewish Journalism
with 2020 Vision
One of the most intriguing stories of the sudden Coronavirus crisis is the role of the internet. With individuals forced into home quarantine, most are turning further online for information, education and social interaction.
JNS's influence and readership are growing exponentially, and our positioning sets us apart. Most Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas. JNS is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.
During this crisis, JNS continues working overtime. We are being relied upon to tell the story of this crisis as it affects Israel and the global Jewish community, and explain the extraordinary political developments taking place in parallel.
Our ability to thrive in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters. Monthly donations in particular go a long way in helping us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make during these challenging times. We thank you for your ongoing support and wish you blessings for good health and peace of mind.