Trainee teacher faces antisemitism, alone

An anonymous trainee teacher writes in the Jewish Chronicle:

As a trainee teacher in an inner-London school in the last two years, I dealt with countless remarks about my religion, ranging from the perplexing to the deeply offensive. After his students drew swastikas all over his classroom, my supervisor said simply: “It’s not our job to project our own moral compass on to the students.”

The school did not take kindly to her requests for days off work for religious reasons, to observe Jewish festivals. Her colleagues then shared her religious beliefs with students, without her prior knowledge.

The school did nothing to help her:

I found myself the constant prey of a group of roaming lower schoolers who would verbally abuse me everywhere and anywhere – including in my classroom – with screams of “Hitler! Hitler!” Amazingly, each time I reported an incident, it was ignored. Knowing there would be no consequences, no discipline imposed on them, only encouraged the group. Later, someone scratched “Kill Jews” on to a computer in my classroom. The school got rid of the evidence only after I involved the police.

She was the victim of antisemitism from her colleagues too:

On one occasion, a member of the senior management publicly compared my appearance to various (male) Jewish celebrities, all the while remarking how “Jewwy” I looked.

The same person later refused to offer any condemnation or support when I was the subject of antisemitic abuse from pupils in his year group. Another colleague, responsible for “Ethnic Minority Achievement’, refused to retract the comment that, should I fail to comply with the national teachers’ strikes, I would be “personally responsible for bringing on another Holocaust”.

The teacher concludes that by tolerating antisemitism, such schools are fostering antisemitism.

Who could possibly disagree?

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