House Republicans to Examine K-12 Schools in Latest Antisemitism Hearing

House Republicans will hold a hearing on Wednesday morning looking for the first time into accusations of antisemitism in elementary and secondary schools since the Oct. 7 attack on Israel by Hamas.

District leaders from three politically liberal regions across the country — New York City, Berkeley, Calif., and Montgomery County, Md. — are expected to testify before members of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.

The House, which is controlled by Republicans, has already held two contentious hearings on antisemitism in higher education, which helped lead to the toppling of Claudine Gay, Harvard’s president, and M. Elizabeth Magill, the president of the University of Pennsylvania.

But the district leaders — David Banks, chancellor of New York City schools; Enikia Ford Morthel, superintendent of Berkeley schools; and Karla Silvestre, the school board president in Montgomery County — face different issues than college leaders.

Unlike college faculty members, public schoolteachers do not have broad rights to academic freedom and are expected to hew to curriculum standards set by their states and school districts.

Committee members may grill the school leaders on their handling of several incidents from their districts, including students who are accused of shouting, “Kill the Jews,” and lesson plans that referred to Israeli “apartheid,” as well as a classroom map of the “Arab world” that did not include a label for “Israel,” calling the country “Palestine.”

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