Jewish mother forced to pull daughter from school over antisemitism

Meet Anissa Hersh. She had to pull her daughter from school due to antisemitism. The board’s response? She was guilty of 'anti-Palestinian racism'!

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Question 1: How bad is antisemitism in schools post-Oct. 7, 2023?

Answer: This bad: a mother in Burlington, Ont. actually had to PULL her daughter from Burlington Central High School in May after bullies incessantly picked on her simply for being Jewish.

Question 2: How insanely woke are Ontario school boards these days?

Answer: This woke: when Anissa Hersh told the Halton District School Board why she was removing her daughter from class, the board accused Hersh of embracing “anti-Palestinian racism”!

Alas, such is the toxic environment at Ontario public schools these days, according to Hersh. And to add insult to injury, certain faculty members at Burlington Central, she says, are encouraging pro-Hamas activists to promote threatening antisemitic messages.

We met up with Hersh at a protest outside the headquarters of the Toronto District School Board earlier this week. Hundreds of demonstrators from the Jewish community and their allies were demanding that the TDSB get serious about skyrocketing antisemitism at its schools; alas, the TDSB is more concerned about – you guessed it – “anti-Palestinian racism.”

Hersh says her Grade 11 daughter (who does not want to be named), might’ve gotten away with being less bullied if she were as to hide her Jewishness. But Hersh says her daughter is a proud Jew who refuses to bend the knee to the pro-Hamas bullies, who seem to comprise members of the student body and the faculty. But in the infinite wisdom of the school board, Hersh’s daughter is apparently the author of her own misfortune.

The final insult came in mid-May when a so-called “Arts & Culture” took place at the school’s auditorium. Hersh says the event resembled a Gaza protest. Indeed, a large map was featured; the map “rebranded” the state of Israel as “Palestine.”

The school also permitted students to wear T-shirts depicting the destruction of Israel. Hersh says her complaints to the administration were brushed aside because the wearers of the shirts are “just kids”.

In a May National Post story that chronicled the plight of Hersh and her daughter, Ontario’s education minister (now ex-education minister) Stephen Lecce stated that the school board that runs Burlington Central needs to smarten up when it comes to addressing antisemitism.

“The gross rise of antisemitism needs to be a wake-up call to the director and leadership of the Halton District School Board to do something about this disturbing trend,” said Lecce. “I have assured Mrs. Hersh that we will communicate my expectations to the director that the Halton District School Board take action on these unacceptable incidents and apply the same level of concern and enforcement to hate as they would for anyone else.”

Yet, par for the course, Lecce proved to be all talk and no action. This was, of course, also the case with Lecce regarding the Busty Lemieux fiasco. Astute viewers will no doubt recall that shop teacher Kerry Lemieux routinely came to class at his school in Oakville dressed as a grotesque caricature of a female (complete with fake Z-cup breasts.)

Naturally, this kook was completely accommodated by the Halton District School Board. Indeed, the HDSB went out of its way to protect Lemieux; meanwhile, Minister Lecce resembled a professional wrestling referee in terms of forcefulness and maintaining decorum.

Now the HDSB is going out of its way to accommodate the pro-Hamas thugs.

The National Post story quoted HDSB spokeswoman Heather Francey as stating: “The Halton District School Board does not tolerate the erasure of any nation or identity and views the erasure of Israel from a map as antisemitic. I can assure you that staff are investigating this issue. Antisemitism, and racism in any form, is not tolerated at any of our schools…. The school principal has communicated with students, families and staff about this incident, underscoring school processes and expectations."

“The safety and well-being of students is our highest priority. As educators, we continue to centre human rights and provide an environment that is inclusive and respectful, and where the humanity of all students, staff and communities is upheld.”

Rebel News reached out to the HDSB for an update; no comment was received at deadline.

Meanwhile, if the pro-Hamas thugs at Burlington Central High School thought they had broken the spirit of Hersh’s daughter, nothing could be further from the truth. Hersh says her daughter plans to move to Israel, where she is keen to sign up with the Israel Defence Forces.

We wish her all the best.

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