Anti-hate organizations denounce Cobb County school board for hate speech in schools

Georgia’s second largest school district is currently under fire.

Members of the Jewish community are frustrated with the response from the Cobb County School Board. Anti-Semitic graffiti found in two high schools.

They call the board response inadequate.

A district spokesperson said the council chairman has publicly condemned the incidents on numerous occasions.

In a new statement to FOX 5 News, the board continued to condemn hate speech and anti-Semitism, but the chairman of the Atlanta Initiative Against Anti-Semitism said this new response was not still not sufficient.

“It doesn’t really deal with the seriousness of the swastikas and the praise of Hitler in two schools in the district in the space of a week,” said Lauren Menis, chair of the Atlanta Initiative Against Anti-Semitism. .

FOX 5 previously reported disturbing school officials recently found graffiti at Pope and Lassiter High Schools.

Someone drew anti-Semitic symbols and language in the toilets of both schools.

“My reaction to both incidents was what it’s usually like ‘oh my god. Here we go again, ”Menis said.

The incidents both occurred during major Jewish holidays.

“We are not going to sit down and watch hate happen in their schools. We are going to fix it,” Menis said.

She said her organization and community members were initially upset that the school board did not immediately label the acts as anti-Semitism.

Now that the council has done so, she has said they want the district to provide students and staff with educational and anti-hate programs to prevent this type of incident from happening again.

“These need to be taken seriously and also used as a way to have a good time for learning that doesn’t happen at all,” she said.

On Monday, a district spokesperson sent us the following statement regarding the incidents:

“On behalf of the chairman of the board and council, the district continues to condemn the recent disturbing trend in social media involving hate speech, anti-Semitic references and abuse of school property. This continues to be unacceptable and to distract our teachers and students. ability to focus on teaching and learning. Our principals have and are engaging with students, teachers, parents and community members on how to prevent harmful and illegal behavior from occurring. There is zero tolerance for actions that harm individual students, groups of people, or the school building, and all applicable district policies and laws will be enforced. We encourage families to talk to their students about the impacts of inappropriate and dangerous trends circulating on social media. Parents, students, or staff can report safety concerns to the Tipline District by call, text, or email. “

Menis said “you can’t group ‘Heil Hitler’ and swastikas together with the other things they group them with.”

AIAAS created this petition calling on the board to take immediate action against anti-Semitism in their schools.

The organization along with the Anti-Defamation League, American Jewish Committee and Union of Jewish Students plan to attend Thursday’s board meeting to share their concerns with district leaders.

“When a community is targeted, we are all at risk,” Menis explained.

FOX 5 asked the district spokesperson if he had identified the person responsible for the vandalism in the schools, but he did not answer this question.

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