Parents of at least four Jewish students at Manhattan Beach Middle School say their children have been the targets of verbal attacks by the same student in the days after Hamas attacked Israel.
One mother, who spoke to NBC4 off camera out of fear for her safety, alleges the student in question told her child that she wanted to “kill all Jews.” In addition to the violent statement, the student said Israel “deserved it” and that she “believes in revenge.”
“Not all of them knew exactly what took place and here they were being verbally attacked both in class and outside of class because they were wearing a Jewish star, or because they were wearing a t-shirt that they got on a trip to Israel,” Rabbi Joshua Kalev said of the disturbing incident.
In the wake of the allegations, the Manhattan Beach Unified School District said it doesn’t tolerate any form of antisemitism and that this situation was thoroughly investigated. However, student privacy laws prevent the district from disclosing the results of the investigation. It did say that “appropriate consequences have been administered.”
The mother who spoke with NBC4 said the district closed its investigation after they determined the student’s words were “political,” not hateful.
“They are young Jewish girls who were sought out at lunch, and to me, there’s nothing political about that, that is hate,” Rabbi Kalev said.
Additionally, the student’s mother said she was sent a document requesting her child’s signature saying they will “not discuss this incident with any other students. I further understand that any contact or continuation of this incident by telling other students will lead to further consequences.”
The district said the purpose of the letter is to avoid re-igniting situations they are trying to resolve, but it is now updating language on the contract to eliminate confusion down the road.
“These four girls did nothing, they were just being themselves,” Kalev said. “As Jews, as Jewish people. Sitting at lunch, sitting in class so to reprimand them, seem extremely unjust.”