Jewish Father Says Antisemitic Bullying No Longer Confined to College Campuses After Daughter Forced to Switch High Schools Over Harassment
Antisemitic bullying is not confined to college campuses, a Jewish father cautioned in a New York Daily News op-ed on Thursday, after his daughter was forced to switch high schools when she came under vicious attack for connecting radical Islam with extremist behavior.
Marco Greenberg — president of a New York-based public relations firm — revealed his daughter’s experience while she was a student at Manhattan’s Beacon High School, warning of how “politically charged” disputes about Israel and Jews have “seeped down” to lower education institutions.
According to Greenberg, a mere two weeks after last November’s ISIS terrorist attacks in Paris, his daughter became the target of her peers after stating, “Religion in the extreme can cause violence and war. Just look at radical Islam.”
“You say that in front of people of color,” one student challenged her. Another told Greenberg’s daughter, “I’m going to rearrange your face.” Shortly after that, her phone “exploded with a flurry of texts expressing revulsion [and] demands for apologies and ends to longtime friendships.”
Within 24 hours, Greenberg’s daughter’s Facebook page was flooded with antisemitic and anti-Zionist postings, such as “You white privileged Jewish b***h,” “Zionism is racism,” “We’re not your Arab slaves,” and “I’ve never hated someone in my life as much as you.”
“When she tried to draw on facts and reason, pointing out that most victims of jihadists are peace-loving Muslims — including innocent girls being molested and murdered by the likes of Boko Haram in Nigeria and the Taliban in Afghanistan — it only added fuel to the fire,” Greenberg wrote.
Making matters worse, when his daughter approached the school’s principal, “she admonished our daughter for being ‘very opinionated’ and refused to take any concrete action…meaning free ad hominem attacks or threats of physical assault,” Greenberg wrote.
The experience, Greenberg said, revealed how he was “naive about how much the worldview of many students today is limited to two measures: ethnic and economic, with kids suddenly adopting strident positions based on topics they barely comprehend.”
“While I truly want my daughter to understand and respect perspectives different from her own, when the very first book in the syllabus assigned for incoming freshman at Beacon High was on the Palestinian issue,” he wrote, “is it then any wonder that a Hebrew-speaking Jewish student gets intimidated and even demonized?”
Greenberg concluded his piece by slamming teachers and administrators for their “growing malignancy of complacency, looking the other way and even inciting aggression.” He called on parents to “pay attention” and “speak up.”
“If other such stories are swept under the rug, such incidents will grow, much personal pain and loss will ensue, divisions will increase,” he wrote, “and the main lesson we impart to our children will be indistinguishable from that of dictatorships: conform to groupthink and shut the hell up.”