Antisemitism accusations at Palm Beach County schools

Laurence Greenberg
Laurence Greenberg
Wellington, FL - In the latest accusation of antisemitism at Palm Beach County schools, an administrator is accusing the district of a “long-term pattern" of bias against Jewish people.

Laurence Greenberg, an assistant principal at Palm Beach Central High in Wellington, filed a discrimination charge Thursday with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Greenberg was reassigned to a job in the school district’s transportation department in May after he and his principal were accused of improperly changing students’ grades.

The principal, Darren Edgecomb, got his job back after six weeks, but Greenberg remains under investigation. He believes it’s because of antisemitism, according to his EEOC complaint.

“A comparison of the number of Jewish principals and high-level administrators in the district to either the Jewish population in the county or the number of Jewish teachers will establish that where the district can use subjective criteria to promote to high level positions, they reject Jews,” he wrote.

A school district spokeswoman said Friday that the district would not comment about a continuing investigation.

An EEOC complaint represents an accusation, not a finding of wrongdoing. After an investigation, the EEOC can file a lawsuit if its staff finds reasonable cause that discrimination occurred and the parties can’t resolve the matter through negotiations.

Greenberg, 60, has worked for the school district since 1994 and had been assistant principal at Palm Beach Central since 2003. In March of last year, the school district’s inspector general found that Greenberg and Edgecomb had changed at least 11 students’ grades between 2016 and 2018 without following the district’s grade-changing policy.

The investigation said Greenberg acknowledged he should have followed the policy by consulting with the students’ teachers before making the changes.

The school district also said Greenberg allowed students to take some standardized exams after the scheduled testing dates, and it found that Greenberg used a district credit card to make nearly $54,000 worth of unauthorized purchases from 2015 to 2018 for school supplies.

Although the inspector general found that Edgecomb also altered students’ grades, Greenberg attributes the principal’s quick return to his job to his friendship with Superintendent Donald Fennoy, who goes to the same church.

“The fact that Mr. Edgecomb has been reinstated is due to his religion and selective enforcement,” Greenberg wrote.

Greenberg said a detective asked him during the grade-changing investigation whether he knew that the mother of one of the students whose grades he changed was either a teacher or principal at a Hebrew school.

“I denied knowing this information and asked why that information was relevant,” Greenberg wrote. “He responded that it was something I should’ve known, implying that because I am Jewish, I would be aware of her professional affiliations.”

The complaint also makes several charges against Keith Oswald, the school system’s deputy superintendent. It says he told School Board member Karen Brill that “Greenberg will be taking the fall” for the grade-changing scandal. And it says Oswald told a former principal that the Holocaust is a “Jewish thing.”

Oswald said through a spokeswoman Friday that he could not comment due to the ongoing investigation. Brill said she had not seen the complaint and did not want to comment.

Source: sun-sentinel