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More than 200 parents in New York City have signed a petition asking the city Department of Education to investigate a pre-K teacher who has apparently launched a hateful campaign against Jewish people. The school is located in the Upper East Side.
The petition at PS 59 suggested that the teacher, Siriana Abboud, has leveraged her Instagram account to "promote hate and intolerance," expressing pro-Palestinian sentiment while condemning Israel, according to the New York Post.
The petition reads, "Hate speech and discrimination have no place in our schools. Our teachers are the front line of defense in promoting a safe and welcoming environment for our children, and, regrettably, we have reservations about Ms. Siriana Abboud’s ability to fulfill this role.”
While the petition was initially posted to Change.org, it was soon taken down after a mother's phone number got passed around, which led to several "disturbing" messages from strangers. Additionally, the school's principal, Nekia Wise, has refused to condemn Abboud's behavior.
One mother reached out to Wise about the issue, saying: "Is she [Abboud] able to teach Jewish children without her internal biases coming forth? Does she bring this up in the classroom? What is she telling them? What does she teach them about this, if anything?”
“She has very strong opinions. So how does that not bleed into her perception of the Jewish kids in the class?”
However, this is not the first time people have raised alarms about Abboud. Earlier this year, she posted drawings of different noses outside her classroom, asking students why people have different noses. Many students replied, saying that it could be your ancestors, where you are from, and family members.
Abboud posted her own thoughts about where the shape of noses come from, saying, "I think it's based on your ethnic identity. In art, we learn that you can often tell ethnicity from the bridge of your nose."
As a result, Jewish staff members suggested that the display gave rise to anti-Semitic stereotypes. Though the school held a "restorative justice" session after faculty members brought up the issue, Abboud did not attend the session and "nothing came of it," according to one staffer.
There has been a dramatic increase in anti-Semitism in colleges and universities across the U.S. since Hamas' terrorist attacks against Israel on October 7. While many pro-Palestine groups have expressed their disapproval of Israel's response to Hamas' attacks, these groups have failed to condemn Hamas.
Hamas killed between 1,200 and 1,400 Jews on October 7, the vast majority of which were non-combatants.
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