This week, a group of “radicalized” students caused chaos in the corridors of Hillcrest High School in Jamaica neighbourhood of Queens, New York, for nearly two hours. The turmoil began when they found out that a teacher had attended a pro-Israel event.
The frightened teacher had to seek refuge in a locked office as the students, who were attempting to enter her classroom, learned of her participation in the rally.
According to the New York Post, this incident occurred shortly after 11 a.m. on Monday and was reportedly a coordinated protest by students against the teacher's Facebook profile picture, which showed her at a pro-Israel rally in Queens on October 9, holding a sign that read, “I stand with Israel.”
The scene at Hillcrest High School in Queens as a Jewish teacher hid in her locked office for hours while students demanded she be fired for attending a pro-Israel rally. pic.twitter.com/jzVCEofvJS
“The teacher was seen holding a sign of Israel, like supporting it,” a senior told the Post this week. “A bunch of kids decided to make a group chat, expose her, talk about it, and then talk about starting a riot.”
Numerous students swarmed into the hallways, causing a commotion as they chanted, leaped, yelled, and displayed Palestinian flags or banners.
Several students attempted to force their way into the teacher's classroom, even though school staff members were actively trying to prevent their entry.
“Everyone was yelling ‘Free Palestine!’” said one senior.
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“Everyone was screaming ‘(The teacher) needs to go!” a ninth-grader said, adding that “they want her fired.”
According to another educator, school administrators and the NYPD, who arrived at the school around 11:20 a.m., were alerted to the students' intentions just in time to escort the teacher into an office and secure the door.
Students captured the turmoil on video, uploading several clips to TikTok. Some of these videos were accompanied by vibrant Arabian music. One TikTok screenshot displayed the Hillcrest teacher holding a sign stating “I stand with Israel.”
Furthermore, a TikTok video featured a Facebook photo of the teacher. The caption on one of the videos read, “When a protest breaks out because a teacher stands with Israel.” Another video was captioned, “Hillcrest high school had a riot because a Health teacher was supporting Israel.” The majority of the comments on these videos were in support of the students' actions and critical of the teacher, with one comment referring to her as a “cracker ass b*tch.”
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