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Queens HS students suspended by DOE for disruptive behavior in response to Jewish teacher’s pro-Israel post

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The New York City Department of Education has suspended multiple Queens high school students after a situation at Hillcrest High School last week. The incident involved around 400 students swarming the hallways and targeting a Jewish teacher who had expressed support for Israel on social media.

NYC Schools Chancellor David Banks addressed concerns at a press conference following the incident. He stated that while many students did not understand the full extent of the situation and were merely following others, the inappropriate behavior displayed by many of them led to their suspension.

The principal of Hillcrest High School refuted claims that the students involved in the incident were radicalized or antisemitic, emphasizing that the teacher was not in direct danger and the situation was inaccurately characterized by the media. Additionally, the chair of the Queens Jewish Alliance expressed dissatisfaction with the chancellor’s response, stating that the teacher had to hide from the students and the police did not arrive immediately.

Though the NYPD did not immediately respond to requests for comment, the President of the United Federation of Teachers issued a statement vowing to continue working with the teacher, school safety, the DOE, and the NYPD. Lastly, Mayor Eric Adams condemned the situation, and Banks announced plans to have in-school conversations between students throughout the NYC education system to address what he calls “perilous times.”

The incident at Hillcrest High School has sparked significant responses from various stakeholders, reflecting the significance of the issue at hand and the attention it has drawn. With the involvement of leaders at different levels, including elected officials, community advocates, and educators, the aftermath of the incident illustrates the criticality of engaging all parties in addressing such complex and sensitive matters.

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Photo credit gothamist.com

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