Statement from EVP Rabbi Moshe Hauer on U.S. Dept. of Education Investigation of Antisemitism in Delaware School District

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30 Jan 2024

The US Department of Education announced a Title VI complaint settlement with the Red Clay Consolidated School District in Wilmington Delaware.

The investigation found shocking episodes of antisemitism and racial discrimination including the use of swastikas and heil Hitler salutes.

There are more than 40 civil rights investigations into possible shared ancestry discrimination at educational institutions since the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks in Israel. Targets include prestigious universities and school districts across the US.

Rabbi Moshe Hauer, Executive Vice President of the Orthodox Union, one of the largest Jewish organizations in the US said about the settlement:

Antisemitism has become a significant factor in the lives of Jewish students at universities and public schools. We are disturbed and frightened by the growth of the phenomenon and disheartened by the frequently inadequate responses of administrators zealously protective of others but apparently insensitive to the experience of these students. Schools must fulfill their responsibility under Title VI to maintain an environment where all students can study and thrive without experiencing hostility based on their shared ancestry or ethnicity.

We welcome Monday’s announcement from the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) at the Department of Education regarding the conclusion of its investigation of the Red Clay Consolidated School District in Delaware. OCR has recently initiated dozens of investigations of schools and universities in response to complaints of antisemitism and other Title VI violations. 

This investigation focused on the harassment and bullying of both Jewish and Black students at Red Clay and the school district’s inadequate response. The OCR did what is needed, investigating the matter thoroughly and responsibly and holding the school and the school district accountable, putting in place a substantive resolution agreement to prevent future failures.

We appreciate the seriousness of the OCR investigation and the specificity of its conclusions and hope that this and the other pending investigations will produce positive change in those investigated while serving as both a guide and a warning to others.

We look forward to the day when America’s educational institutions will again reflect its core values.

The Orthodox Union provides services that impact all facets of Jewish life. Among them, the OU works in partnership with over 1,000 synagogues, has rabbinic families deployed on 27 college campuses, operates 326 clubs in public high schools, and advocates for security funding for non-public schools and religious institutions.