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Educate, don’t erase

12 0 3

Last week, the playground at the Setauket Elementary School in the storied Three Village Central School District on Long Island, New York was vandalized by anti-Semitic graffiti. The police were contacted, the graffiti was quickly cleaned up, and parents were informed that the school district “does not condone the use or promotion of hateful messages or references.”

Is that enough? Schools, it so happens, are not only the targets of hate crimes, but also one of the sources. In the case of the anti-Semitic hate crime, an investigation is underway, it appears two students in the district may be responsible. This is not uncommon — according to the FBI’s 2018 statistics, juveniles committed about one in seven of the reported hate crimes.

The police can do the policing, but schools must do more educating. Otherwise, we are just addressing the crime in hate crimes — not the hate. Most school administrators would likely rather have a root canal than draw attention to such incidents at their own school, but that’s exactly what they need to do. “Yes, folks, it happened here.........

© The Times of Israel (Blogs)

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