Jewish teacher cries on return to Hillcrest HS after riot; bares feelings to pro-Palestine students


The Jewish teacher forced to hide in an office at a Queens high school while 400 teens rioted against her sought to make peace with pro-Palestine students when she returned this week, telling them, “I stand with the people of Israel, but I do not stand with Israel’s government,” they told The Post.

In classroom conversations, when students asked the teacher if she supported “the genocide of Palestinians,” she told them she did not endorse the violence in Gaza, said a ninth-grade girl in her class. 

Students voiced sympathy for the teacher, who was tearful during the discussions.

The Post is withholding the veteran teacher’s identity at her request — although Chancellor David Banks repeatedly named her during a press conference at the school on Monday.

Upon returning to the Jamaica school on Thursday, the teacher had “raw” conversations with students to explain her views on the Israel-Hamas war, teens said.

The teacher spent an entire class defending her pro-Israel stance and fielding questions from students, the freshman said. 

The teacher told students that she “was terrified for her life” as they ran through the halls chanting “[Name redacted] needs to go!” TikTok

“She clearly explained what the term ‘I stand with Israel’ meant. She took questions so, like, nothing was unanswered.

“Some [students] in my class went up to her and gave their sympathies . . . You could see and hear the pain in her voice and see her welling up with tears,” she said.

“I do appreciate her coming out and coming back to the school. She’s really bold for doing that, she’s really brave — so you have to hand it to her for that,” the freshman concluded. 

Hillcrest High School, Chancellor David Banks’ alma mater, has been under scrutiny since The Post exposed the riot. Stefano Giovannini

A sophomore who briefly chatted with the teacher said the exchange made her feel “a little bit bad” about the prior week’s events because the educator “was about to break down and cry.”   

“She was saying the picture was from a few months ago and was taken out of context,” the student added, referring to photo of the teacher at an Oct. 9 pro-Israel rally, two days after Hamas massacred 1,200 Israeli civilians.

The educator also confided to students that she “was terrified for her life” while students ran through the halls chanting “[Name redacted] needs to go!” – and that she has gotten death threats.

Chancellor David Banks repeatedly named her during a press conference at the school. Dennis A. Clark

The teacher, employed by the city Department of Education for 23 years and at Hillcrest for seven, had not returned to the classroom since the Nov. 20 riot, which several students planned after finding and re-posting the rally photo.

School administrators got wind of the plans and locked the teacher in an office to shield her from harm. 

Inside the building this week, safety officers guarded her every move. An army of uniformed cops surrounded the school “all day, all week,” an NYPD spokesman said.

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