JCRC Statement on Reinstatement of Suspended Montgomery County Teachers

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 Montgomery County Public Schools’ reinstatement of teachers following investigations of antisemitic activity.

In a time when antisemitism is running rampant, schools must do their part to ensure Jewish students have a safe and secure learning environment. More than 3,500 people in Montgomery County signed a JCRC petition urging MCPS to fully investigate teachers who spread hateful and divisive messages in the aftermath of Hamas’ terrorist attack on October 7. We appreciate MCPS for its due diligence in this matter, including reassigning these teachers to different schools and reinforcing the standards of its social media guidelines for educators and staff.

While we understand that MCPS is restricted legally with respect to the information it can share about personnel matters, we urge district officials to share any information it can within those constraints to maintain trust with and accountability to Jewish families who have been on the receiving end of antisemitic attacks. Whereas transparency is critical to maintaining trust and safety, complete silence erodes that trust. MCPS families deserve to have peace of mind that their school district is following an important principle--anyone who engages in antisemitic behavior or activity will face repercussions for their actions--even if specific details of the investigations must remain confidential. This is a critical opportunity for MCPS to reiterate that children should never be targeted over their religious, racial, or ethnic identities, and that students and educators should promptly report any antisemitic attacks to the proper authorities.

Communication is an indispensable tool in our collective efforts to fight antisemitism. We encourage MCPS to continue to abide by that principle to the maximum extent possible.