Alameda Schools Struck Again by Anti-Semitism 

Despite the district's "Everyone Belongs Here" campaign, students have found more swastikas and hate speech at Alameda High.

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She said she's lived in many countries around the globe, including Russia, France, Argentina, Colombia, and Spain, where she has seen anti-Semitism give rise to even worse acts of hatred and discrimination, she said. "Anti-Semitism is a mutating virus, and it's never going to go away," she said. "And the only thing we can do is control it, and controlling it means educating people, and that's really the only way we are going to get a handle on it."

Shalom Bruhn, a community activist, parent, and substitute teacher in the district who organized the community to help reclaim the space where the noose was found, said she agreed with the characterization that the district has been "more reactive under pressure than proactive" when anti-Semitic incidents have occurred. And that's why she hopes that the equity task force she helped establish will prompt Alameda to create an office of equity — as Oakland and Berkeley have done.

Yet she said she realized in talking to a number of young people after the noose incident that they did not understand its history. They said they thought instead it was announcing that someone was going to kill themselves, she said. And so, she believes a similar lack of understanding about the history of swastikas may be common on school campuses and more needs to be done to combat ignorance, she said.

"It is important that we walk our talk as a community, and when we say, 'Everyone Belongs Here,' that can't mean just one group, one religion, or one skin color." 


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