Congress Holds Hearing to Examine Antisemitism in K-12 Schools in Liberal Cities

( – On May 8, House Republicans held a hearing focusing on alleged antisemitic incidents in three school districts, Montgomery County, Maryland, Berkeley, California, and New York City.

The first such Congressional hearing to focus on K-12 schools was held by the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education, along with an American Civil Liberties Union representative.

During the May 8 congressional hearing, lawmakers questioned Berkeley Unified School District Superintendent Enikia Ford Morthel, New York City Public Schools Chancellor David Banks, and Montgomery County Board of Education President Karla Silvestre, hoping to find out why the three school leaders failed to stop the antisemitic incidents that happened “without an appropriate or any response at all,” according to Committee chairman and Florida Rep. Aaron Bean.

The hearing comes one day after a letter was sent to the Berkeley Unified School District, the Brandeis Center, and the Anti-Defamation League by the U.S. Department of Education stating that the department’s Office for Civil Rights is investigating the school district over allegations of discrimination based on being Israeli or having a shared Jewish ancestry. The office is investigating if the school district complied with Title VI requirements to prevent harassment and discrimination and if two parents who filed a complaint about harassment due to their Jewish ancestry were retaliated against by the district.

The investigation follows the Brandeis Center filing a complaint that details dozens of alleged antisemitic incidents at Berkeley, such as students allegedly shouting, “kill the Jews” and “KKK.”

Another House committee was also set to hold a hearing on May 8 about reports of antisemitism on the campus of George Washington University and the response of George Washington University President Ellen Granberg and Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser to an encampment on the campus. However, that hearing was canceled after police cleared the encampment.

In December, the University of Pennsylvania president and Harvard University president also appeared before Congress for their response to antisemitism on their campuses.

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