Officials Ignore Biases Against Jewish Students in Fairfax County Public Schools

Stephanie Lundquist-Arora | April 30, 2024

(Washington Examiner) — Members of the Fairfax County School Board only seem to be concerned with students’ and teachers’ “inherent biases” when they are against pre-approved groups. It seems that Jewish students are not among them.

According to the Anti-Defamation League, antisemitic incidents are increasing across the country. From 2022 to 2023, ADL reports a 135% increase in such incidents at K-12 schools, totaling 1,162 incidents nationwide. There were 23 reported antisemitic incidents in Fairfax County in 2023.

Fairfax County’s children have confirmed they are experiencing antisemitism at their public schools. Jewish students at Woodson High School, for example, reported to their parents after the Oct. 7, 2023, massacre that other students who are anti-Israel regularly say to them, “Why don’t you just go and die?”

A few miles down the road, during a meeting of the Muslim Students Association at Langley High School in November 2023, a student drew a flag with swastikas and the message “Free Palestine!” at its center. The student who drew the flag rightfully was suspended. But to almost everyone’s surprise, the student who alerted the community about the incident on social media was also suspended. The whistleblower’s suspension led many residents to speculate that the school district’s administrators were using the incident as a deterrent to prevent other students from speaking out against antisemitism.

In another incident last month, a Holocaust survivor came to speak to seventh-grade students at Cooper Middle School. In a move that is uncharacteristic for Fairfax County Public Schools, an administrator sent an email to parents alerting them that the lecture was not mandatory and offering them the ability to opt their children out of the Holocaust history lesson.

Given Fairfax County School Board members’ obsession with biases and the recent passing of its bias incident reporting system, you might think they would be more attentive to reported biases against Jewish children in public schools. But you would be wrong.

The district’s school board passed the bias incident reporting system to make sure that everyone is on the same page with the correct biases. There are certain social groups — I think Jews are among these — that many of our district administrators and most school board members believe we can and should harbor biases against.