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Bay Area Schools Experience Dramatic Spike In Anti-Semitic Incidents

Anti-Semitic incidents are on the rise in California’s Bay Area this year, with more incidents at more schools in the first five months of this year than in all of 2016.

Twenty-nine incidents have been reported by more than 25 schools this year, compared with 25 incidents reported by more than 16 schools in 2016.

“I would say in the Bay Area we are not much different than what’s going on nationally,” Anti-Defamation League regional director Seth Brysk told J. — The Jewish News of Northern California.

“The problem is, typically it’s not an isolated incident,” he added. “If someone is comfortable enough to act out or speak out in this way, there is an environment there that is fertile for this kind of activity.”

Novato High School experienced anti-Semitic incidents almost daily in one classroom during December and January for “multiple weeks because they went unnoticed” by the teacher, according to Assistant Principal Tiffany Benson.

It was only after students reported what was happening to the administration that the school launched an investigation and discovered that students had been drawing swastikas and Hitler characters on the classroom whiteboard and making racist slurs when testing audio equipment, such as “Testing, testing — dirty Jews,” according to school documents.

This spike in incidents mirrors one seen across the country; in addition to a series of bomb threats made against hundreds of Jewish communal targets this year, the ADL has reported an 86% surge in anti-Semitic incidents nationally during the first quarter of 2017.

Laura E. Adkins is the Forward’s contributing network editor. Contact her at [email protected] or on Twitter, @Laura_E_Adkins

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