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Sep 2 2014

Hate Crime in the Classroom

By at 2:41 pm

hate crime in the classroom swastika

In the middle of an exhausting, first year of teaching in a public high school in southern Massachusetts, I, like most teachers who come in contact with hundreds of students every day, contracted a virus, and took my first sick day. In the middle of that sick day, I got a call from the gym teacher, who I hardly knew.

“Are you OK?” He sounded reluctant to ask. Something had happened in my classroom while I was out, but he wouldn’t say what. He was shocked that no other staff had called me. He wished me well and got off the phone quickly.

When I returned to school, I demanded to know what had happened. My department chair said it was “an unfortunate incident,” and that I should talk to the principal. I finally wrangled it out: a student had spray-painted a swastika on my classroom floor and etched another swastika on my chalkboard. Something about Jews had been scrawled but only partially erased, probably so that no one would be able to identify the handwriting.

Both the chalkboard and floor were scrubbed clean before I returned.  Read the rest of this entry →

Nov 19 2012

News Roundup: Rockets in Israel Edition

By at 3:58 pm

All the Jewish parenting news you probably didn’t have time to read this week.

This week we’re focusing our News Roundup on parenting stories that focus on the recent rocket attacks in Israel, and Israel’s military response:

- The New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief, Jodi Rudoren, was interviewed by the Sisterhood blog about being a reporter and a mom who has kids living in Jerusalem as she reports on the recent events in Gaza. Maybe it’s a front but this lady seems tough as nails.

- Jessica Apple, a mom in Jerusalem, writes in the New York Times about how she’s talking to her kids about what’s going on, and about her lost hope in the peace process. Sad, and riveting.

- An Israeli dad writes an open letter to a Palestinian man who lost his daughter in an Israeli missile attack. Heartbreaking.

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