In a letter to parents this week, Brian Turner, principal at F.A. Day Middle School in Newton, Massachusetts, broke silence on anti-Semitic incidents that occurred last October and January this year. Why did it take so long to inform parents and the community of the hateful occurrences?
F.A. Day Middle School exists in a predominantly Jewish neighborhood in prosperous Newton in the prominently liberal state of Massachusetts, not unlike prosperous, elite communities along California’s coast.
The Newton incidents included hate-filled anti-Semitic graffiti on school bathroom walls and a swastika imprinted in snow nearby. While Turner articulated apologies for not reporting sooner, he remains accountable for keeping silent on anti-Semitic sentiment expressed loudly and clearly in the facility under his charge. Melting winter snows conveniently eliminated the evidence.
“My initial response to these incidents did not convey the moral outrage I felt at this violation of our core values,” Turner wrote in his letter. The moral outrage the community bears is Turner’s silence on the issue, exposing a untoward tolerance — under the guise of unexpressed moral outrage — of hatred directed toward a school filled with students of the Jewish faith.
It was only when Newton Police spokesperson, Lt. Bruce Apotheker, said that an anonymous letter was forwarded to police on Monday that made them aware of two anti-Semitic incidents at the school.
A further outrage is the silence of mainstream media in reporting the incident to a general public. The story appeared only locally on WCVB, a news station in Boston. Where are the breaking mainstream, left-wing, state-sponsored news stories on unidentified slurs against Jews in America? Is the U.S., like Europe, numbing to the targeting of Jewish people in its midst? The nation preaches agenda-driven tolerance toward Muslims and Islamists, but not for its own citizens of Jewish heritage.
“While these incidents are extraordinarily painful, it has given us an opportunity to reflect upon the culture of tolerance at our school,” Turner wrote. What’s extraordinarily painful is Turner’s cowardly silence of whatever moral outrage he experienced, not reporting the incidents, then rationalizing his weakness as tolerance for groups besides the one represented prominently in his school. Turner should resign immediately. The incidents are hate crimes under the law. Turner should have immediately reported them to the FBI.
“It is clear we must strengthen our efforts to build an inclusive and caring community in which all students and adults feel safe and respected,” Turner continued in his letter. Such statements constitute liberal rhetoric for diversity programs that engender neither safety nor respect among diverse groups. Turners insensitive, indecisive, delayed action did nothing to build an inclusive and caring community.
Examiner was informed that teachers “were active” on the issue but, at the same time, fearing for their jobs should they speak out on Principal Turner’s lack of appropriate action on the hate crimes invoked against his school.
Anti-Semitic sentiment simmers under a silenced surface in America. And, the boiling begins in our schools.