Manage episode 362373041 series 3340125
Antisemitism in America is on the rise. In 2022, the Anti-Defamation League reported a 50% increase in antisemitic acts in schools over the previous year. In this episode, two students from Montgomery County, Maryland discuss the impact of recent antisemitic acts at their high school. One of them, Rachel Barold, was the target of a particularly vile and terrifying incident. Drawing attention from national media, she led a walkout at her school in which hundreds of her classmates and several community leaders called upon district leaders to do more to prevent hateful acts toward Jewish students. Joining them are a parent, a teacher educator, and a Rutgers University professor who has devoted much of his career studying what educators can do to promote the kind of character that is needed in a democratic society. Professor Elias says creating safe and caring schools should be a top priority for educators and administrators. This entails cultivating an environment where all students feel secure, supported, and valued, regardless of their background or culture. This can be fostered through character education, social-emotional learning, and ongoing professional development for teachers and staff—practices that ensure that students feel included and understood.