HHS is not exempt from anti-Semitism

Marit Erickson, Variety Editor

HHS boasts a high Jewish population, one to pride ourselves in. However, as many horrifying displays of anti-Semitism surface around the school, the question of these students’ safety is one of concern.

Many boy’s bathrooms across HHS have swastikas drawn on the stalls. Concerned students have come to administrators with complaints regarding the hate symbols.

In addition, after a group of students were seen making Hitler salutes during lunchtime, white supremacy, specifically anti-semitism at HHS, is increasingly rampant. How to implement change is up for debate.

Clyde Retish, senior, was one of the students responsible for bringing the bathroom vandalism to Principal Ballard’s attention. 

“Principle Ballard has been very helpful with offering advice on how we can stop antisemitism at Hopkins,” Retish said. “She, Aidan Swartz, and I discussed possibly creating a class that could go over the history of Jewish people and anti-Semitism itself to educate more people on this topic. While this isn’t the solution, it will certainly aid our Jewish population at Hopkins with a sense of comfort.”

This class also has the potential to educate non-Jewish people, providing a safe space to discuss serious topics. 

Furthermore, recovery and healing are vital to any community when extreme forms of hate are enacted. 

“I think when something like a swastika is drawn in the bathroom, we should offer some sort of discussion or circles to talk about the meaning behind that symbol and how hateful it truly is,” Retish said. “I know speaking for myself, I would’ve gone to that discussion and weighed in with my opinion.”

Any blatant disregard of anti-Semitism can be considered a direct violation of Title VI from the U.S. Department of Education. According to Title VI, “Schools must take immediate and appropriate action to respond to complaints of discrimination, including harassment or bullying based on race, color, or national origin.” 

Throughout the United States, many acts of anti-Semitism are disregarded, creating an environment in which Jewish hate is no longer confined to extremist groups. 

This is why it is vital to acknowledge when such acts are committed and respond accordingly.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) suggests that “Addressing antisemitism through education is an immediate security imperative and a long-term educational investment to promote human rights and global citizenship.”

Hopefully, this concern towards Jewish students will set a path towards a future of providing minority students with the attention and care they need. 

Before Hopkins can performatively praise their students’ excellency, they must do everything in its power to nurture and listen to every scholar.