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High school students riot over teacher’s support for Israel

Teacher locked in an office for her safety

A Jewish health teacher had to go into hiding last week after “hundreds” of students at a New York City high school rioted through the hallways “chanting, jumping, shouting, and waving Palestinian flags” (pictured).

The teacher, a “cracker ass bi*ch” as one video commenter referred to her, was rushed into a locked office for safety as fellow Hillcrest High School staff guarded her classroom door, the New York Post reports.

Students planned the riot after seeing a photo of the 23-year veteran educator at a pro-Israel rally with an “I Stand With Israel” placard.

A Hillcrest senior said “The teacher was seen holding a sign of Israel, like supporting it [so] a bunch of kids decided to make a group chat, expose her, talk about it, and then talk about starting a riot.”

The NYPD, which sent two dozen officers to the school, also thought the situation serious enough that it activated its counterterrorism task force.

MORE: American U. protest: Faculty should ‘connect’ Palestinians’ plight to their coursework

From the story:

“Everyone was yelling ‘Free Palestine!’” a senior said. “Everyone was screaming ‘(The teacher) needs to go!’” a ninth-grader said. “They want her fired.”

Students recorded the commotion, posting multiple videos, some set to pulsing Arabian music, on TikTok. “When a protest brakes (sic) out because a teacher stands with Israel,” a caption on one says. Another reads, “Hillcrest high school had a riot because a Health teacher was supporting Israel.”

Most comments posted on the videos applauded the kids and jeered the teacher …

Clips showed a water fountain ripped out in the hallway and shattered tiles in the second-floor boys’ bathroom, which students admitted they vandalized. …

The teacher gave a statement to The Post, which is withholding her name for her own safety.

“I have been a teacher for 23 years in the New York City public school system — for the last seven at Hillcrest High School. I have worked hard to be supportive of our entire student body and an advocate for our community, and was shaken to my core by the calls to violence against me that occurred online and outside my classroom last week.”

“No one should ever feel unsafe at school — students and teachers alike,” she added.

A city councilman said the Hamas-Israel war was just a “convenient excuse” for students to act out. Another councilman said he didn’t know why so many students are “misinformed, intolerant and radicalized” as they haven’t even been taught yet about that region’s history.

Three student riot organizers face the “most severe punishment” the district can mete out, a “superintendent’s suspension.”

Hillcrest HS is 36 percent Hispanic, 28.2 percent Asian and 26 percent black. Seventy-six percent of its students are eligible for the free lunch program. Only 75 percent of the school’s students graduate, “well below” the New York state median.

MORE: New York City principal’s email pushes teachers to ‘take action’ in support of Palestinians

IMAGE: The Rogue Princess/X

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Dave has been writing about education, politics, and entertainment for over 20 years, including a stint at the popular media bias site Newsbusters. He is a retired educator with over 25 years of service and is a member of the National Association of Scholars. Dave holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Delaware.