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Politics, Schools, Virginia

AG Miyares calls on Virginia public school administrators to fight antisemitism

Rebecca Barnabi
(© Sean Gladwell – stock.adobe.com)

Antisemitism is on the rise in the United States since the October 7 attack by Hamas on Israel, and public schools are not immune to what is going on in the world.

Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares sent a letter today to all Virginia public school principals and superintendents about the rise of antisemitism in education nationwide and their responsibility to create environments for their students free of discrimination, harassment and intimidation.

Jewish families and students in the Commonwealth feel threatened and unsupported. Some schools and divisions have even promoted biased materials and stood by as staff and students spread false narratives and shouted violent anti-Jewish slogans.

Attorney General Miyares wrote that “after the brutal terrorist attacks on our homeland on September 11, 2001, the federal government focused its efforts on combating anti-Islamic discrimination. But today, the dark specter of antisemitism has arisen with terrifying force and now haunts our streets, our college campuses, and our public schools. All of us — government officials and private citizens — must combat antisemitism with all the tools at our disposal and drive it from our society. Our schools train our children to become good citizens devoted to serving the common good. They therefore play a critical role in beating back the forces of antisemitism.”

Public school principals and superintendents are tasked with the responsibility of teaching Virginia’s students. They must be partners in defeating antisemitism in our country, society and classrooms.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.