Mom files complaint with Tenn. school claiming students got lesson on ‘how to torture a Jew’

cigaretteman

HR King
May 29, 2001
69,950
49,388
113
After school one day last week, Juniper Russo’s 13-year-old daughter came home and confided in her mother: “I don’t feel safe in Bible class anymore,” she said.
The Jewish teen from Chattanooga, Tenn., said her Bible history teacher wrote on the board the transliteration of the Hebrew name for God, a word not traditionally uttered by Jewish people.

“If you want to know how to torture a Jew, make them say this out loud,” the teacher allegedly said.
Russo, 34, filed a complaint with Hamilton County Schools and requested a meeting with the teacher, principal and the executive director of the Jewish Federation of Greater Chattanooga. But the teacher declined to meet, Russo said.

A spokesman for the school district said leadership is “investigating the complaint” and “will take appropriate steps based on the findings of that review.”


ADVERTISING

“Hamilton County Schools is committed to ensuring that our students and staff experience a climate of belonging and support,” the spokesman said in a statement to The Washington Post.
Holocaust graphic novel ‘Maus’ banned in Tennessee county schools over nudity and profanity

The incident comes as antisemitic symbols have been reported on school campuses nationwide. Chicago police opened an investigation last week into vandalism at several Jewish-affiliated locations, including a school and a synagogue. On Monday, officials at a middle school in Danvers, Mass., found swastikas in the girls’ bathroom.

Hamilton County is southwest of McMinn County, Tenn., where the school board last month unanimously banned “Maus,” the award-winning graphic novel by Art Spiegelman about the Holocaust, from the eighth-grade curriculum. Board members said the text included inappropriate language, illustrations and subject matter. The move led to national outcry, with Holocaust survivors, advocacy groups and graphic novelists accusing the district of trying to overlook the horrors of the Holocaust.
Comic book store owner to ship ‘Maus’ free to anyone who asks in Tenn. district where it’s banned
Public institutions in Tennessee have a track record of partnering with religiously affiliated groups, including Christian foster parent and adoption organizations that receive state funding. Last month, a Jewish couple sued the Department of Children’s Services and its commissioner after a taxpayer-funded organization refused them services because of their religion.






In Hamilton County, a local Christian organization called Bible in the Schools pays the district to teach the Bible as a historic and literary text. The nonprofit, which did not respond to The Post’s request for comment late Sunday, has been funding the elective course in Hamilton County Schools for 100 years, according to the Chattanoogan. In August, the organization reportedly donated nearly $1.8 million to the district.

Russo told The Post she was hesitant when her daughter selected the class as her elective earlier this year.
“I thought, ‘This is not ideal,’ ” Russo said. But the class was the only option for her daughter, whose disabilities prevented her from taking other electives, she said.
“I don’t love that this is even a program in public schools,” Russo added. “But I also thought, if it really is just being taught as literature, I don’t mind my kid learning [this].”






But from the first homework assignment, Russo said she and her daughter felt the assignments and lesson plans resembled Christian proselytizing. In an “About You” worksheet reviewed by The Post, students were asked whether they had read the Bible or were familiar with the text. Russo said her daughter didn’t turn in the assignment, earning her a zero, because she was worried about revealing she was Jewish.

The 13-year-old also showed her mother an animated video she had watched in class, also reviewed by The Post. The video included images of a forked road, where the path of embracing God and Jesus led to a colorful place, while the other route led to darkness. Other parts of the video appear to show animations of the descendants of Abraham and Sarah, who are among the patriarchs and matriarchs of the Jewish people, as dark, shadowy figures with pointy noses grabbing for bags of coins — imagery that resembles antisemitic propaganda.
“When I saw that I was like, ‘Is this real? Did somebody actually put this in a public school class?’ ” Russo said.
A Tennessee couple tried to become foster parents. They were denied because they’re Jewish, lawsuit says.
On Feb. 3, the day after her daughter told her about the teacher’s alleged comments, Russo sent the 13-year-old to school with a note demanding that administrators pull her out of the class and make accommodations for her in a different elective. She warned that if they refused, she would “consider that to be a blatant violation of our right to religious freedom,” Russo said.



Russo also reached out to the Anti-Defamation League and wrote a lengthy post on Facebook about her daughter’s experience, which gained attention in the community and was picked up by local media.
Michael Dzik, the executive director of the Jewish Federation of Greater Chattanooga, said he hopes to work with Bible in the Schools and have “a healthy dialogue.”
“We hope they use this as an opportunity to reflect on and assess both their curriculum and how their teachers are presenting the material to ensure these classes are education, not indoctrination,” Dzik said in a statement to The Post.
Russo said she hopes that speaking out shows her children they should take a stand when they feel something is wrong, “even if it’s going to be scary.”
“I’ve just been trying to teach my kids that we stand up for what’s right and we do what’s beneficial to society,” she said, “even when that might make us a little nervous.”

 
  • Like
Reactions: lucas80

SoProudNole

HR Heisman
Jan 19, 2004
9,281
18,570
113
giphy.gif
 

binsfeldcyhawk2

HR Legend
Gold Member
Oct 13, 2006
22,843
29,546
113
“If you want to know how to torture a Jew, make them say this out loud,” the teacher allegedly said.


Not really a lesson "On how to torture a Jew"......inappropriate thing to say none the less.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Titus Andronicus

red/green hawk

HR Heisman
Oct 28, 2009
5,620
4,718
113
I should've read the story first...The word in the OT translated as LORD is YHWH. It's traditionally been pronounced Ya-weh. Jews won't say the word. The teacher telling the students that making them say this word is torture is a joke. If there was ever a pearl clutching story, this is it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Titus Andronicus

lucas80

HR King
Gold Member
Jan 30, 2008
92,132
115,593
113
“If you want to know how to torture a Jew, make them say this out loud,” the teacher allegedly said.


Not really a lesson "On how to torture a Jew"......inappropriate thing to say none the less.
I might be a little obsessed on this, so, I beg your forgiveness, but do you see why I kept harping in the Nazis in Florida thread that it isn't just 15 weirdos? Anti-Semitism is on the rise in America for a reason. This is wrong on so many levels, starting with this class being taught in a public school with private money. Mrs. Lucas and I moved from the South back to Iowa City to avoid this stuff.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Tom Paris

Tom Paris

HR Legend
Gold Member
Oct 1, 2001
42,321
45,135
113
After school one day last week, Juniper Russo’s 13-year-old daughter came home and confided in her mother: “I don’t feel safe in Bible class anymore,” she said.
The Jewish teen from Chattanooga, Tenn., said her Bible history teacher wrote on the board the transliteration of the Hebrew name for God, a word not traditionally uttered by Jewish people.

“If you want to know how to torture a Jew, make them say this out loud,” the teacher allegedly said.
Russo, 34, filed a complaint with Hamilton County Schools and requested a meeting with the teacher, principal and the executive director of the Jewish Federation of Greater Chattanooga. But the teacher declined to meet, Russo said.

A spokesman for the school district said leadership is “investigating the complaint” and “will take appropriate steps based on the findings of that review.”


ADVERTISING

“Hamilton County Schools is committed to ensuring that our students and staff experience a climate of belonging and support,” the spokesman said in a statement to The Washington Post.
Holocaust graphic novel ‘Maus’ banned in Tennessee county schools over nudity and profanity

The incident comes as antisemitic symbols have been reported on school campuses nationwide. Chicago police opened an investigation last week into vandalism at several Jewish-affiliated locations, including a school and a synagogue. On Monday, officials at a middle school in Danvers, Mass., found swastikas in the girls’ bathroom.

Hamilton County is southwest of McMinn County, Tenn., where the school board last month unanimously banned “Maus,” the award-winning graphic novel by Art Spiegelman about the Holocaust, from the eighth-grade curriculum. Board members said the text included inappropriate language, illustrations and subject matter. The move led to national outcry, with Holocaust survivors, advocacy groups and graphic novelists accusing the district of trying to overlook the horrors of the Holocaust.
Comic book store owner to ship ‘Maus’ free to anyone who asks in Tenn. district where it’s banned
Public institutions in Tennessee have a track record of partnering with religiously affiliated groups, including Christian foster parent and adoption organizations that receive state funding. Last month, a Jewish couple sued the Department of Children’s Services and its commissioner after a taxpayer-funded organization refused them services because of their religion.






In Hamilton County, a local Christian organization called Bible in the Schools pays the district to teach the Bible as a historic and literary text. The nonprofit, which did not respond to The Post’s request for comment late Sunday, has been funding the elective course in Hamilton County Schools for 100 years, according to the Chattanoogan. In August, the organization reportedly donated nearly $1.8 million to the district.

Russo told The Post she was hesitant when her daughter selected the class as her elective earlier this year.
“I thought, ‘This is not ideal,’ ” Russo said. But the class was the only option for her daughter, whose disabilities prevented her from taking other electives, she said.
“I don’t love that this is even a program in public schools,” Russo added. “But I also thought, if it really is just being taught as literature, I don’t mind my kid learning [this].”






But from the first homework assignment, Russo said she and her daughter felt the assignments and lesson plans resembled Christian proselytizing. In an “About You” worksheet reviewed by The Post, students were asked whether they had read the Bible or were familiar with the text. Russo said her daughter didn’t turn in the assignment, earning her a zero, because she was worried about revealing she was Jewish.

The 13-year-old also showed her mother an animated video she had watched in class, also reviewed by The Post. The video included images of a forked road, where the path of embracing God and Jesus led to a colorful place, while the other route led to darkness. Other parts of the video appear to show animations of the descendants of Abraham and Sarah, who are among the patriarchs and matriarchs of the Jewish people, as dark, shadowy figures with pointy noses grabbing for bags of coins — imagery that resembles antisemitic propaganda.
“When I saw that I was like, ‘Is this real? Did somebody actually put this in a public school class?’ ” Russo said.
A Tennessee couple tried to become foster parents. They were denied because they’re Jewish, lawsuit says.
On Feb. 3, the day after her daughter told her about the teacher’s alleged comments, Russo sent the 13-year-old to school with a note demanding that administrators pull her out of the class and make accommodations for her in a different elective. She warned that if they refused, she would “consider that to be a blatant violation of our right to religious freedom,” Russo said.



Russo also reached out to the Anti-Defamation League and wrote a lengthy post on Facebook about her daughter’s experience, which gained attention in the community and was picked up by local media.
Michael Dzik, the executive director of the Jewish Federation of Greater Chattanooga, said he hopes to work with Bible in the Schools and have “a healthy dialogue.”
“We hope they use this as an opportunity to reflect on and assess both their curriculum and how their teachers are presenting the material to ensure these classes are education, not indoctrination,” Dzik said in a statement to The Post.
Russo said she hopes that speaking out shows her children they should take a stand when they feel something is wrong, “even if it’s going to be scary.”
“I’ve just been trying to teach my kids that we stand up for what’s right and we do what’s beneficial to society,” she said, “even when that might make us a little nervous.”

Teacher declined to meet? Yeah, that's not how it's supposed to work.
 

binsfeldcyhawk2

HR Legend
Gold Member
Oct 13, 2006
22,843
29,546
113
I might be a little obsessed on this, so, I beg your forgiveness, but do you see why I kept harping in the Nazis in Florida thread that it isn't just 15 weirdos? Anti-Semitism is on the rise in America for a reason. This is wrong on so many levels, starting with this class being taught in a public school with private money. Mrs. Lucas and I moved from the South back to Iowa City to avoid this stuff.
It was definitely not good....I just thought the headline was overblown.

You experienced Anti-Semitism down south?
 

Tom Paris

HR Legend
Gold Member
Oct 1, 2001
42,321
45,135
113
I should've read the story first...The word in the OT translated as LORD is YHWH. It's traditionally been pronounced Ya-weh. Jews won't say the word. The teacher telling the students that making them say this word is torture is a joke. If there was ever a pearl clutching story, this is it.
Of course you think this.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ping72

tarheelbybirth

HR King
Apr 17, 2003
66,366
48,815
113
Jewish folk who know their stuff will tell you Yahweh isn't a word. It's made up. The group of letters from the Bible that represent the name of God are, obviously, unpronouncable by any human. It's God's name, for god's sake. YHWH can be pronounced any number of ways depending on what vowels you want to substitute so claiming Yahweh IS the name of God is just ignorant. Why not YoHoWHo?
 

BelemNole

HR Legend
Mar 29, 2002
30,852
63,373
113
I should've read the story first...The word in the OT translated as LORD is YHWH. It's traditionally been pronounced Ya-weh. Jews won't say the word. The teacher telling the students that making them say this word is torture is a joke. If there was ever a pearl clutching story, this is it.
It's been pronounced that way by Christians. And the teacher was being a dick.
 

gohawks50

HR Heisman
Gold Member
Dec 28, 2010
8,389
14,037
113
I should've read the story first...The word in the OT translated as LORD is YHWH. It's traditionally been pronounced Ya-weh. Jews won't say the word. The teacher telling the students that making them say this word is torture is a joke. If there was ever a pearl clutching story, this is it.
So this time you are giving the teacher the benefit of the doubt? I thought we couldn't be trusted and needed to be monitored by video surveillance while we are teaching students.

Is it possible the student is misrepresenting what really happened? Sure, it happens all the time. I just find it funny that in this situation you seem sure that the teacher did nothing wrong.
 

McIlraveysMullet

HR All-State
Jul 9, 2019
515
988
93
I should've read the story first...The word in the OT translated as LORD is YHWH. It's traditionally been pronounced Ya-weh. Jews won't say the word. The teacher telling the students that making them say this word is torture is a joke. If there was ever a pearl clutching story, this is it.
But don’t discuss anything that might make a white kid feel uncomfortable. That’s a real crime.
 

Keehawk

HR All-American
May 24, 2011
4,189
3,649
113
This was a teacher that chose the wrong way to teach that jews won't say that word. That's it. It isn't antisemitism. It isn't naziism. It's a nothing burger that will get blown way out of proportion because that's what we do. Look at the headline and several posts in this thread for examples.
 

gohawks50

HR Heisman
Gold Member
Dec 28, 2010
8,389
14,037
113
This was a teacher that chose the wrong way to teach that jews won't say that word. That's it. It isn't antisemitism. It isn't naziism. It's a nothing burger that will get blown way out of proportion because that's what we do. Look at the headline and several posts in this thread for examples.
Okay, can you agree that some lessons get labeled teaching CRT when it's simply teaching US history?
 

red/green hawk

HR Heisman
Oct 28, 2009
5,620
4,718
113
Jewish folk who know their stuff will tell you Yahweh isn't a word. It's made up. The group of letters from the Bible that represent the name of God are, obviously, unpronouncable by any human. It's God's name, for god's sake. YHWH can be pronounced any number of ways depending on what vowels you want to substitute so claiming Yahweh IS the name of God is just ignorant. Why not YoHoWHo?
Gee whiz, it's how Americans pronounce it. I never said Ya-weh was the actual word. It's a transliteration. We don't have an English equivalent for it. The tetragrammaton consists of four Hebrew letters: yodh, he, waw, and then he repeated (YHWH). All CAPS LORD in the OT is the translation for it. The first time it showed up in the Hebrew OT is Exodus 3:

13Then Moses asked God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is His name?’ What should I tell them?” 14God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” 15God also told Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’ This is My name forever, and this is how I am to be remembered in every generation.…
 
  • Like
Reactions: Titus Andronicus

red/green hawk

HR Heisman
Oct 28, 2009
5,620
4,718
113
I see you have the talking points down with no attempt to answer the question.
I answered the question. It's hilarious that CRT gets pushed off as US history. Do YOU even know what CRT is? It is critical race theory or critical theory (CT). CT emerged from Max Horkheimer at the Frankfurt School in the 1930s.

Critical theorists claim that the social sciences must integrate philosophy into their methods to make its findings practical to advance the moral cause of freeing humans from circumstances such as domination and oppression (Horkheimer, 1993).

Basically Horkheimer realized that Marxism a la the Communist Manifesto was on the decline. Stalin's mass murder of 40 million in the name of social equality in Russia was not helping the cause. With Marx the proletariat were being taken advantage of by the bourgeoisie. The bourgeoisie were oppressing the proletariat. CT replaces proletariat with oppressed and bourgeoisie with oppressor. So CRT tells us that the white man (oppressor) has taken advantage of the black man (oppressed). Enter in modern US history education.

How's that for some talking points.

Horkheimer, M. (1993). The present situation of social philosophy and the tasks of an institute for social research. Between philosophy and social science: Selected early writings, 11.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Titus Andronicus

tarheelbybirth

HR King
Apr 17, 2003
66,366
48,815
113
Gee whiz, it's how Americans pronounce it. I never said Ya-weh was the actual word. It's a transliteration. We don't have an English equivalent for it. The tetragrammaton consists of four Hebrew letters: yodh, he, waw, and then he repeated (YHWH). All CAPS LORD in the OT is the translation for it. The first time it showed up in the Hebrew OT is Exodus 3:

13Then Moses asked God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is His name?’ What should I tell them?” 14God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” 15God also told Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’ This is My name forever, and this is how I am to be remembered in every generation.…
The point...
Jews won't say the word.
...is that lots of Jewish people will say that word with no issues at all. They have no reason to say it because they consider "Yahweh" a nonsense word.
 

red/green hawk

HR Heisman
Oct 28, 2009
5,620
4,718
113
My point is some parents think US history lessons about slavery and Jim Crow laws are a part of CRT. I have even heard of parents considering Black History Month a part of teaching CRT.

Do you agree with them?
No I don't agree. I'm all for teaching about the history of slavery and Jim Crow laws. I don't consider Black History Month CRT.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Titus Andronicus

red/green hawk

HR Heisman
Oct 28, 2009
5,620
4,718
113
The point...

...is that lots of Jewish people will say that word with no issues at all. They have no reason to say it because they consider "Yahweh" a nonsense word.
You're right lots of Jews will say it today. I also linked to an article from a Rabbi who explained why a lot won't. Nonsense or not, the guy teaching the Bible class told a stupid joke and people are trying to make it out like he spray painted swastikas on a synagogue.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Titus Andronicus

WildTurk

HR All-American
Jul 25, 2011
4,115
8,772
113
I thought the name of God was "Yahweh" or "Jehovah". Atleast that's what Indiana Jones tought me.
 

gusto79

HR Legend
Sep 11, 2002
10,914
14,616
113
You're right lots of Jews will say it today. I also linked to an article from a Rabbi who explained why a lot won't. Nonsense or not, the guy teaching the Bible class told a stupid joke and people are trying to make it out like he spray painted swastikas on a synagogue.
Thought on this part?

The 13-year-old also showed her mother an animated video she had watched in class, also reviewed by The Post. The video included images of a forked road, where the path of embracing God and Jesus led to a colorful place, while the other route led to darkness. Other parts of the video appear to show animations of the descendants of Abraham and Sarah, who are among the patriarchs and matriarchs of the Jewish people, as dark, shadowy figures with pointy noses grabbing for bags of coins — imagery that resembles antisemitic propaganda.
“When I saw that I was like, ‘Is this real? Did somebody actually put this in a public school class?’ ” Russo said.
 
  • Like
Reactions: cigaretteman