October 8, 2019

Antisemitic memes texted between students at East Bay school

Millennium High School - (Google Street View)
Millennium High School - (Google Street View)
Piedmont, CA Antisemitic memes described as “hateful and hurtful” texted by some Millennium High students were denounced by the school’s principal.
In an email sent Monday afternoon to the “Millennium community,” Millennium High Principal Shannon Fierro said two antisemitic memes were circulated among students recently and were shared with the school’s staff late last week. She would not disclose the sender of the memes. but it was someone in the freshman class.
Millennium High is an alternative high school in the Piedmont Unified School District. The disclosure of the memes isn’t the first time antisemitic incidents have occurred at Piedmont schools
In 2018, antisemitic emails were exchanged between students at both Millennium High School and Piedmont High School, and in 2017, there were reports of antisemitic and racist incidents at Piedmont High School including a swastika dance routine.
In her email, Fierro said she joined the world cultures class Monday and “shared with all ninth-graders the nature of the memes.”
“I denounced the content of the memes, stressed the seriousness of the issue and discussed the need for all students to reflect on their values, social media choices and digital footprint,” she wrote in the email.
She called the memes “hateful and hurtful,” but did not describe them.
Ken Brown, who teaches social studies at Millennium, discussed the memes from a historical perspective, including the Holocaust and contemporary instances of antisemitism, Fierro said. Brown led a student class discussion, asking the young people to reflect on what they think about the memes.
“At MHS (Millennium High School) and in PUSD (Piedmont Unified School District), we work hard to live our values of creating an inclusive community that respects and honors all backgrounds and identities,” Fierro wrote in the email. “Part of that work is to speak out in the face of hate, prejudice and bias in all its forms.  It is our job to directly address and repair harm when it happens and use it as a teachable moment for students to reflect on how they treat one another, stand up for one another and work to create a caring, compassionate and inclusive school community and world.”
Source: eastbaytimes