JCRC Statement on Antisemitic Incident at Jackson-Reed High School

JCRC Statement

The following is a statement from Guila Franklin Siegel, associate director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington, in response to an antisemitic incident Wednesday evening at Jackson-Reed High School in Washington, DC.

“Jackson-Reed High School’s years-long failure to properly address antisemitism is once again on full display. It is beyond outrageous that Jewish and Israeli children and parents who simply attended and participated in an International Culture Night were subjected to unhinged protestors accusing them of being 'genocide lovers' who support 'killing kids.' When children need a police escort just to safely leave a school-sponsored event, something is deeply wrong with that school’s culture.

Last night’s debacle represents a complete failure, both in terms of Jackson-Reed’s obligation to ensure adequate security at school events overall, and in its responsibilities towards its Jewish students and faculty. Sadly, rather than being an outlier, this incident only publicly exposed the type of harassment Jewish students at Jackson-Reed experience on a regular basis. 

We demand a full investigation from DCPS and law enforcement officials in response to this disturbing incident, with appropriate discipline for school administrators who clearly failed to provide a safe environment for Jewish and Israeli members of this community during an event on school grounds. We hope DCPS would agree that such hatred directed at children and families has no place in any school, and that such a complete failure in ensuring students’ physical and emotional safety requires a forceful response. The situation at Jackson-Reed is unacceptable and must not be allowed to continue.”