Targeted. Harassed. Violently ambushed. It’s shocking that in 2024, students are unable to walk between classes to their dorms or to the dining hall. But it’s the reality for Jewish students on campus.

Today, we are seeing the full force of Jewish hatred on our college and university campuses, and it has never been more lurid, more outspoken, or flagrant. Many Americans are rightfully looking at the chaos unfolding and thinking: how did we get here? How do we seem to have an entire generation of youth who are so brainwashed that they think violence is justified if it’s done to a group they have labeled a “colonizer” and “oppressor” according to progressive ideology?

But this crisis did not spontaneously manifest when these students showed up for their first freshman year class. What we are seeing is the product of a K-12 education system that has been hijacked by administrators more interested in teaching through the prism of their own political ideology than focusing on the instruction students need to thrive and the results speak for themselves.

As the Chairman of the Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education Subcommittee for the Education and Workforce Committee, I am committed to stamping out the divisive factors that have led to the disgusting antisemitism in our K-12 schools. This Wednesday morning, our subcommittee will be holding an urgent hearing titled, “Confronting Pervasive Antisemitism in K-12 Schools.”

The committee will be bringing in the heads of the New York City Schools, Berkeley Unified School District, and Montgomery County Public Schools.

The most egregious examples of antisemitism in K-12 schools have come from these districts. They owe it to families in their districts to answer for the toxic environment that has been created under their watch.

In several instances, the antisemitism has been disseminated by the paid staff themselves, with little-to-no consequences. A teacher in NYC, just days after October 7th, updated a profile picture on his social media account celebrating the paragliding terrorists who committed those atrocities. In BUSD, a high school teacher showed an image to the class of a fist destroying the Star of David over Israel. In another case in NYC, it was exposed that a teacher recommended spreading anti-Israel material to children as young as four years old, which included lessons on “land theft, displacement and ethnic cleansing.”

The hate and divisiveness are also being embedded directly into the curriculum. In California, Gov. Newsom signed legislation that made ethnic studies a K-12 graduation requirement. Some of these courses have been exposed as anti-Israel lessons disguised as a social studies course.

Nonprofit organization, Parents Defending Education, obtained documents that showed a California school district was using class content that blames Israel for “ethnic cleansing,” committing UN War Crimes, and describes the Israeli people as an “extremist Jewish settler state.”

Teachers unions, organizations which have outside influence over local school districts, have also been exposed for their antisemitic behavior and rhetoric. The Berkeley Federation for Teachers helped sponsor the “Bay Area Labor for Palestine Mass Organizing Meeting and Teach In” planned by the East Bay Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). The President of this union also accuses “Zionists” of launching a “right wing attack on our progressive education, specifically anti-racism education and decolonial education.”

In NYC, the Movement of Rank and File Educators, caucus of the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) pushed resources to teachers from “Teach Palestine” and “Rethinking Schools,” organizations that publicly express anti-Israel sentiments and offer resources to teachers to push this content to children.

Despite these appalling instances of antisemitism, the leadership at these districts have failed to act. Their muted and inadequate responses over the past seven months have enabled the hate to continue to spread.

It has created an unsafe and dangerous environment for students, faculty, and staff.

Antisemitism must be identified and combatted, and that’s exactly what we are doing in my state, the free state of Florida. I applaud Gov. Ron DeSantis for being the first governor to ban student groups that express support for terror organizations from our state college and university campuses.

The history of the Holocaust warns us what can happen when hatred of the Jewish people is met by silence. We cannot stand by while Jewish students feel threatened. It’s more than just a discussion — it’s a call to action.

House Republicans have made it our mission to stamp out antisemitism wherever it exists in our society and this hearing is a part of that mission. I look forward to working with my colleagues to hold the leaders accountable of the school districts that have failed to carry out their responsibility of helping to ensure the safety of Jewish teachers and students.

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