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Kyrene School District will undergo training to confront anti-Semitic behavior by students

Published: Tuesday, August 23, 2022 - 2:54pm
Updated: Tuesday, August 23, 2022 - 3:13pm
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The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights on Tuesday announced the resolution of a 2019 complaint of anti-Semitic harassment filed against Kyrene School District #28 in Arizona.

The complaint was leveled by a Jewish student who, according to OCR in a press release, was “subjected to months of harassment, both in school and on social media, by numerous classmates. The harassment included calling her anti-Semitic slurs and disparaging and joking about her Jewish heritage, over a period of five months.”

OCR found that, although the district identified such harassment took place, it did not assess the impact of it, nor implement school-wide measures to prevent further occurrences after the reported incidents, thereby allowing a hostile environment to persist.

The resolution includes training for staff about those with Jewish ancestry and a survey about how to reduce further harassment.

Superintendent Laura Toenjes and the Kyrene Governing Board stated in a press release that they "are dismayed that any student would be made to feel unsafe or unwelcome on a Kyrene campus."

Toenjes also stated, “As a person of Jewish faith, I was deeply affected by this investigation. I will work very closely with our Board to ensure every student of every faith, every race, and every background feels safe, valued, and respected inside our schools.”

In May, the Kyrene Governing Board approved the District’s first Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion policy (ACB)

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