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Local rabbi responds to antisemitism in Ann Arbor Public Schools

The words "antisemite" and "antisemitism" in the dictionary.
The Conversation
The words "antisemite" and "antisemitism" in the dictionary.

Antisemitic incidents reportedly were increasing in Ann Arbor public schools as the school year was winding down.

The incidents involved one case of a middle school student who was the target of antisemitic texts in a friend group. The other involved a female high school student who was harassed using slurs about Jews and money.

Rabbi Nadav Caine from Ann Arbor’s Beth Israel synagoguesays he was pleased to see students reporting the incidents. He praised the Ann Arbor school administration for decrying hate speech. But he says the school’s punishment of the perpetrator caused even more emotional harm to the victim.

"When the student who did that was suspended, then she became the target of a schoolwide social media campaign blaming her for getting the other student suspended."

Rather than suspension, the rabbi recommends the schools consider classroom education to debunk racial stereotypes and explain how hate speech harms the victim.

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Cathy Shafran was WEMU's afternoon news anchor and local host during WEMU's broadcast of NPR's All Things Considered.
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