An outraged Park Slope teacher claims he acquired the really hard way that it’s Ok to use Black Life Issue T-shirts to perform at his “woke” Brooklyn faculty — but not professional-cop or professional-Israel garb.
Jeffrey Levy, an English as a Next Language trainer at MS 51 in the liberal Brooklyn enclave, advised The Write-up that college principal Neal Singh purchased him to prevent carrying his “Proud Zionist” T-shirt in the constructing — even nevertheless other staffers have worn shirts touting BLM and women’s rights.
Levy filed a discrimination complaint about not staying permitted to have on his self-designed shirt, which attributes the Star of David.
He reported he was explained to by Singh that pupils and staffers complained about it — and also the professional-law enforcement “Back the Blue” T-shirt he’s beforehand worn.
“Singh explained to me that my T-shirt with an Israeli flag on it and the words and phrases ‘Proud Zionist’ were ‘politically explosive,’” Levy suggests in his grievance, submitted Sept. 30 with the city Division of Education’s Place of work of Equivalent Chance and Variety.
“He told me that Zionism involves the retaking of Palestinian land and is ‘offensive,’ ” Levy provides in the complaint, a duplicate of which The Publish reviewed.
Zionism is a religious movement that led to the creation of the state of Israel for Jewish folks, he says in the criticism. Palestinians have very long claimed the land is theirs.
Levy acknowledged to The Post that he was a short while ago confronted by a scholar exterior university who yelled at him, “Palestine is Palestine!”
“I explained, ‘You’re welcome to your impression,’ ” Levy recalled.
The instructor mentioned the principal’s stance smacks of a double regular.
“Singh has permitted other team to dress in attire with ‘Black Life Make a difference,’ ‘Feminism is the radical thought that women are people today,’ ‘Feminist’ and ‘O’Connor & Ginsburg & Sotomayor & Kagan,’ ” Levy stated, referring to feminine US Supreme Court docket justices, in his discrimination grievance.
“Singh’s definition of politically explosive apparel seems minimal to Jews only,” the trainer claimed.
“None of my attire, actions or beliefs endanger the psychological or physical protection of pupils or staff members, which Singh accused me of. … I have done myself professionally and have often revered the beliefs of all though accomplishing my task neutrally and without the need of bias. … His endeavor to threaten and intimidate me is anti-Semitic.”
Levy and the group People From Antisemitisim offered The Put up with images exhibiting some of the other T-shirts worn by staff in MS 51.
Singh declined an emailed ask for for comment.
But in a assertion to The Article, the DOE backed the principal for instructing Levy, a 20-calendar year veteran, to end donning what it deemed politically billed T-shirts.
“Schools are not community forums for advancing private political views, and for each Division of Schooling polices, personnel are prohibited from applying educational institutions for the objective of political expression,” explained DOE spokeswoman Katie O’Hanlon.
“This principal’s request followed problems from pupils and workers and is regular with insurance policies all around political neutrality in schools,” she additional.
Chancellor’s Regulation D-130 states, “School structures are not public discussion boards for applications of neighborhood or political expression.
“While on duty or in get in touch with with college students, university staff may well not have on buttons, pins, content of garments, or any other items advocating a prospect, candidates, slate of candidates or political organization/committee.”
Levy argued that wearing a “Proud Zionist” T-shirt does not violate the chancellor’s regulations.
The controversy will come amid a nationwide discussion above social-media retailers this sort of as Fb and Twitter censoring speech, such as articles significant of Democrats — these kinds of as The Post’s reporting on the shenanigans of Hunter Biden, President Biden’s troubled son.
Previous state Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who heads the anti-Semitism team, despatched a letter to schools Chancellor Meisa Ross Porter going to bat for Levy, charging that district officials were being engaging in a “double standard” and “anti-Semitic ignorance.”
“How insulting. This is sick. This is pathetic. This is anti-Semitic,” Hikind raged to The Publish on Sunday of the school’s treatment method of Levy.
“You can’t say you are a happy Jew and supportive of the persons and the condition of Israel?”
Hikind billed that the town DOE is “representing the serious left, the radical wing of the Democratic Party,” by barring pro-Jewish statements but permitting others to don attire sympathetic to accepted liberal causes.
“There should really be just one standard for all. But this is what’s heading on in our city,” Hikind said.
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