(VitalNews.org) – A high school in Queens, New York, erupted into a student riot last week after one of the school’s teachers attended a pro-Israel rally and posted a picture of herself at the event on Facebook.
On Monday morning, hundreds of students at Hillcrest High School stormed the hallways waving Palestinian flags, chanting, and calling for the removal of a pro-Israel teacher. The teacher, who remains anonymous, fled her classroom as students attempted to push past other teachers who blocked their way. As the teenagers raged throughout the school building, the teacher stowed away in a locked office in order to hide. Students attempted to get to her inside the office but were unsuccessful.
What sparked the riot was a photograph posted by the teacher on Facebook depicting her at a pro-Israel rally. In the photo, the teacher holds a sign proclaiming she stands with Israel. After some students discovered the picture, they formed a group chat to organize the protest. According to one student, it was suggested by some in the chat to “start a riot.”
Footage was captured of the chaotic scenes and quickly went viral on social media. The school was forced to shut down for about two hours to regain control of the students, and around two dozen officers of the New York Police Department showed up.
The teacher, who’s been employed by the city for over 23 years, told reporters that she was left “shaken” to the core by the incident. She claims students were calling for violence against her, not just in the hallways, but also on the internet. She added that no student or teacher “should ever feel unsafe at school,” a message reiterated by New York City Mayor Eric Adams.
Adams also commented on the incident on Twitter, describing it as “a vile show of antisemitism… motivated by ignorance-fueled hatred.” He said the students’ behavior would “not be tolerated” in schools in the Big Apple.
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