A Queens high school in New York City became the site of violent, anti-Semitic rage last week, and it all appeared to be singularly aimed at a longtime teacher who had been seen on Facebook publicly showing support for Israel.
Hillcrest High School in the Jamaica neighborhood erupted on Monday at about 11 a.m., as a mob of teens rampaged through the school’s halls, according to the New York Post. The Post labeled the teens involved as “radicalized.”
The Post said the unrest involved hundreds of teens who ran wild as they waved Palestinian flags.
The teacher was forced to flee from her classroom as students tried to force their way past other teachers trying to block their way. The teacher, whose name was withheld by the Post, took refuge in a locked office.
Even then, students tried to push their way to get to her.
“The teacher was seen holding a sign of Israel, like supporting it,” the Post said it was told by a high school senior it did not name.
The scene at Hillcrest High School in Queens as a Jewish teacher hid in her locked office for hours while students demanded she be fired for attending a pro-Israel rally. pic.twitter.com/jzVCEofvJS
— Steve McGuire (@sfmcguire79) November 25, 2023
“A bunch of kids decided to make a group chat, expose her, talk about it, and then talk about starting a riot,” the senior said.
The Post said students it did not name said the protesting students chanted, “Free Palestine!” while others demanded the teacher be fired.
City Council member James Gennaro said about two dozen New York Police Department officers responded and the counterterrorism bureau was called upon to investigate.
“Whether it was one student or multiple students who did or said something, whatever the trigger was, something happened. And I know from my many years on the City Council that the counterterrorism task force is not engaged unless they believe it is potentially a serious situation,” Gennaro said.
Gennaro said the episode “went from a teacher just changing a photograph on her social profile to this contagion of hate being released in the halls of Hillcrest High School.”
“It’s a sad commentary on the rancid hate that exists within the hearts of students — for Jews,” he said.
The teacher gave a statement bemoaning the incident.
“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,” she said.
“No one should ever feel unsafe at school — students and teachers alike,” she said.
According to Business Insider, the teacher is Jewish.
“It’s my hope in the days ahead we can find a way to have meaningful discussions about challenging topics with respect for each other’s diverse perspectives and shared humanity. Unless we can learn to see each other as people we will never be able to create a safe learning community,” she said.
The vile show of antisemitism at Hillcrest High School was motivated by ignorance-fueled hatred, plain and simple, and it will not be tolerated in any of our schools, let alone anywhere else in our city.
We are better than this. https://t.co/y0sVuntwGo
— Mayor Eric Adams (@NYCMayor) November 26, 2023
“The vile show of antisemitism at Hillcrest High School was motivated by ignorance-fueled hatred, plain and simple, and it will not be tolerated in any of our schools, let alone anywhere else in our city. We are better than this,” New York City Mayor Eric Adams posted on X.
Principal Scott Milczewski told parents they can help limit outbreaks such as the one that ripped through the school Monday.
“There are 2,500 students. Adults will always be outnumbered. I think that’s something we have to understand. And that’s why we’re asking you to speak to your children. We need your support with this,” he said in a message to parents.
TERRORISM IN A NYC HIGH SCHOOL: Hundreds of teenagers rioted at Hillcrest High School in Queens, NY after they discovered a teacher posted a pro-Israel message on Facebook. They were literally hunting down the teacher and Lord only knows what they would have done had they caught…
— toddstarnes (@toddstarnes) November 25, 2023
On Tuesday, police were called to the school again. This time, they arrested an 18-year-old student who was charged with aggravated harassment due to threats made in a group chat.
The Post reported that sources indicated at least three students behind the outbreak of violence could be suspended.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.