WMH Files Lawsuit Targeting Antisemitism in NYC Public School

Lawsuit targets rampant antisemitism in NYC public school

As students glorify Adolf Hitler and chant “Fuck the Jews,”
DOE accused of empowering student bigots.

NEW YORK (May 3, 2024) – Today, Walden Macht & Haran and the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law filed a lawsuit against Origins High School, the City of New York, the New York City Department of Education, David C. Banks, Michael Prayor, John Banks, and Dara Kammerman on behalf of a public-school teacher and a campus administrator.  The suit accuses the City and other defendants of failing to address persistent antisemitism against teachers, including Plaintiff Danielle Kaminsky, at Origins High School in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, leading to a hostile workplace.  When the situation got so dangerous that a campus administrator, Plaintiff Michael Beaudry, demanded action from DOE, the Defendants are accused of retaliating against him and removing him from the school.

The suit describes acts of antisemitism and hate speech against Jewish people generally, and Kaminsky specifically, between October 8, 2023 and March 2024, which include students marching through the campus chanting “Fuck the Jews”, aggrandizing Adolf Hitler (including referring to him as the G.O.A.T.), drawing swastikas on a Jewish student’s property, and exclaiming to a Jewish teacher that they “want to kill all jews.” The complaint also details how school officials, especially Interim Acting Principal Dara Kammerman, sought to shield bigoted students from any disciplinary action, including against a student who brought explosives to school after engaging in other antisemitic acts.  The complaint alleges that DOE’s complicity caused the antisemitism to fester, and, facing no consequences, that some of the bigoted cabal of students started attacking and assaulting LGBTQ+ members of the school community.

“It is disgusting that these acts occur at all, let alone in a public school in the most progressive and enlightened city in the world.  But it is simply shocking that DOE refused to protect its own people and—worse—retaliated against them to put a lid on the vile, antisemitic behavior,” said Jim Walden, the attorney for Ms. Kaminsky and Mr. Beaudry.  “Sympathizing with bigots only empowered them, allowed their hate to escalate, and eventually bubble over to the LGBTQ+ community.  This is a case study of how NOT to handle bigotry and antisemitism.”

With antisemitism on the rise, as cited in the complaint, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) notes a 140% increase in 2023 of antisemitic harassment, vandalism, and assault in the United States. Meanwhile, public school teachers, sworn to educate the future, were met with inaction by administrators and the New York state authorities.

“Above all else, safety must be a school’s #1 priority.  Yet, New York City and Origins officials not only ignored violent, targeted threats, they attempted a complete cover-up.  They shielded dangerous perpetrators, punished whistleblowers, and left Jewish teachers and students utterly vulnerable,” stated Kenneth L. Marcus, chairman of the Brandeis Center and former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education for Civil Rights. “Dereliction of duty is an understatement here.”

The complaint was filed in the United States District Court for The Eastern District of New York by Jim Walden, Adam Cohen, Marc Armas, and Stephen Gardiner of Walden Macht & Haran.


< See All News