Students at a suburban Atlanta middle school were recent assigned a project in which they were instructed to create a mascot for Nazi rallies, WSB 2 Atlanta reported.

Parents expressed shock at the assignment, which instructed students to draw and name their mascot, and give an explanation for how they cam up with it.

One parent, Toyka Walker, didn’t think her daughter was serious when she shared the homework with her. Another, Mindy Lopes, said that she wants her kids to learn about history, but didn’t think the project was the right way to go about doing so.

The sixth graders who were given the assignment are enrolled in a Social Studies program meant to teach them about Nazism, including general history and highlighting the use of propaganda by the Nazis. A school district spokesman, however, said that the ”assignment is not a part of the approved materials…and is not appropriate, and the school is addressing the use of this assignment with the teacher.”


School project to remember Holocaust victims surpasses goal of 11 million stamps

BOSTON (JTA) – A 9-year-old school project to commemorate Holocaust victims surpassed its unlikely goal to collect 11 million stamps – representing the lives of 6 million Jews and 5 million other victims of intolerance who perished.

On Friday, the eve of Yom Kippur, a community volunteer for the Holocaust Stamp Project at the Foxborough Regional Charter School delivered some 7,000 canceled stamps to the K-12 charter school, bringing the total of stamps collected to 11,011,979, according to Jamie Droste, the school’s student life adviser who oversees community service learning for the high school.

By chance, the goal-setting delivery was made on a day that a reporting team from the NBC Boston affiliate was at the school, located in a suburb south of Boston, to report about the project.

The project began nine years ago in the fifth-grade classroom of Charlotte Sheer as an outgrowth of her students reading “Number the Stars,” the award-winning work of historical fiction by Lois Lowry set during the Holocaust. By collecting 11 million stamps, one stamp at a time, Sheer envisioned the project as a way to make tangible the incomprehensible magnitude of the genocide.

From its modest beginnings of collecting a few thousand stamps, the Holocaust Stamp Project has transformed into an all-volunteer community service component for the school’s high school students. It has also attracted volunteers from the community who help with the time consuming process of counting and sorting the stamps.

Through the project, students learn about the importance of acceptance, tolerance and respect for diversity, according to Sheer and Droste, who has directed the project since Sheer’s retirement about five years ago.

Over the years, as word of the project spread, with media reports locally and in Israel and Germany, stamps have arrived from 47 states and 22 countries including Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, Israel and Ireland. Some are sent a few at a time, including from Holocaust survivors or their family members, and others, including some rare stamps, have been donated by collectors in batches of thousands at a time.

As part of the project, students have transformed thousands of the stamps into 11 meticulously crafted colorful collages whose intricate designs reflect a Holocaust-related theme. The goal is to complete 18 collages, Droste told JTA. The collages have been displayed for the community during Holocaust Remembrance programs.

The nearly 1,300 students at the school come from diverse cultures and backgrounds, with many from immigrant families whose lives are far removed from the events of the Holocaust, according to Droste. Some are from countries that have experienced war or economic hardships, she noted.

“The multicultural diversity makes the school strong,” she said. Only a few of the school’s students are Jewish.

In today’s political climate, students are aware of the hate in the world, Droste observed.

“This is one lesson that reaches all of them. We need to focus on peace and what is good and never forget the lives of those who were taken because of intolerance,” she said.

The project was recognized during the Yom Hashoah commemoration last spring with an award by the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston.

Droste said she is hoping that the collages and collection will find a permanent home at an institution or organization where they can be on display.



Millions of dollars in aid money that the international community pledged to get Syrian refugee children into school did not reach the children, arrived late or could not be traced because of poor reporting practices. That is the conclusion of a new report by Human Rights Watch which tracked the $1.4 billion pledged by the international community last year for education of Syrian refugee children.

Lebanon, Turkey, and Jordan are hosting the largest number of Syrian refugees. At least a million of the refugees are children, and many have not been in school for several years. At the conference in London last year, these countries pledged to enroll all Syrian refugee children in “quality education” by the end of the last school year.

But as a new school year gets underway, an estimated 513,000 refugee children are not in school, and it is not clear what went wrong.

“We didn’t find any evidence of corruption although there may have been some somewhere,” Simon Rau, the Mercator Fellow, Children’s Rights for Human Rights Watch told The Media Line. “The problem is the gap of transparency. It’s really hard to track that money.”

Rau was one of the authors of a new report by Human Rights Watch entitled “Prevent A Lost Generation of Syrian Children.”

There is a “lack of information about the projects donors are funding, and their timetables,” the report said. “Public fund-tracking reports, databases, and other mechanisms often lack enough information to assess whether the projects being funded addressed the key obstacles to education for Syrian children.”

When financial aid did arrive, it often came too late, after the school year had already begun, Rau said.

The situation is different in each country. In Turkey, for example, refugee families have to obtain special cards before enrolling their children in school. Many refugees are having difficulties getting these cards as they fled the fighting in Syria without some of the documents they need.

In Lebanon, which is hosting more than a million Syrian refugees, the situation is a little different. The Lebanese government has pledged that all children can enroll in public schools, straining the school system at times.

Because of the increase in enrollment, there are two shifts of school per day. That means that some children will be coming home from school well after dark.

“The teachers are exhausted from teaching two shifts,” Suha Tutunji, the Director of Education for the NGO Jusoor in Lebanon told The Media Line. “Many of the schools are quite a distance away, and parents don’t feel its safe for their children, especially girls, to walk.”

While school is free, she said, transportation is not covered and costs up to $20 per child per month, still a high sum for refugee families. There is some antagonism toward the refugees, she said, who are seen as taking jobs from local Lebanese. In some cases, teachers have made anti-refugee remarks in class.

In addition, she said, some Syrian parents choose not to send their children to school.

“A lot of the parents who live in refugee camps, whether in Syria or Lebanon, do not send their children to school after age 12 or 13, but send them to work,” Tutunji said. “Girls help their mothers and eventually get married.”

Another problem is that the primary language of instruction in public schools in Lebanon is either English or French, while most Syrian children speak and understand only Arabic. Until this year, Syrian children were enrolled in the afternoon session, where classes were taught in Arabic until fourth grade. That meant that Syrian refugee children were kept separate from Lebanese children.

Starting this year, Syrian children will also start to learn in English or French in first grade. She said that even though there has been an information campaign that public school is free, many parents still believe they have to pay.

An estimated 300,000 Syrian refugee children in Lebanon are still not in school.

“We are going to have a lost generation,” she said. “When the fighting ends, Syria is going to need doctors, teachers, engineers, scientists and physiotherapists. Who will do that if these children don’t go to school?”

Students Earn “Less or More” Credit by Determining Their Level of “White Privilege”

Students at San Diego State University have the opportunity to earn extra credit by determining their personal level of “white privilege.”


Sociology professor Dae Elliot of San Diego State University has offered her students the opportunity to earn extra credit by filling out a form that reveals their unique level of “white privilege.” The form was inspired by the work of educator Peggy McIntosh, who helped popularize the concept of “white privilege” in the late 1980s. McIntosh famously compared “white privilege” to an invisible knapsack of social advantages that often go unnoticed by those who benefit from them.

The examples of white privilege listed on the form include:

I can choose blemish cover or bandages in flesh color and have them more or less match my skin.
I can be late to a meeting without having the lateness reflect on my race.
I am not made acutely aware that my shape, bearing, or body odor will be taken as a reflection on my race.
I can enroll in a class at college and be sure that the majority of my professors will be of my race.

Elliot told The College Fix that the exercise not only allowed students to earn extra credit but served as a healthy way to help students see from perspectives other than their own.

“Only through processes that allow us to share intersubjectively, weigh all of our perspectives according to amount of shareable empirical evidence can we approximate an objective understanding of our society,” she said. “It may never be perfect, in fact, I am sure we will always be improving but it is a better response if we are truly seekers of what is truth, what is reality. In a society that values fairness, our injustices that are institutionalized are often made invisible.”

San Diego State University College Republicans President Brandon Jones condemned the exercise, calling the extra credit assignment “another attempt by the Left, and Professor Elliot, to divide America.”

“The Left’s political goal is to ensure that minorities in America perpetuate that their primary problem is white racism. This only furthers the portrayal of minorities in America as victims and does nothing to help contribute to their advancement in society,” Jones added.

Florida University to Award Posthumous Degree to Trayvon Martin (LOL….)

Trayvon Martin, the Florida teenager whose shooting death by a neighborhood watch volunteer in 2012 prompted a national debate over racial profiling and civil rights, will be awarded a posthumous university degree in aeronautical science that reflects the 17-year-old’s dream of becoming a pilot before he was killed.

Florida Memorial University announced this week that it would present a bachelor of science degree in aeronautical science, with a concentration in flight education, on May 13 to Mr. Martin’s parents during its commencement ceremonies “in honor of the steps he took during his young life toward becoming a pilot.”

His mother, Sybrina Fulton, who graduated from the university with an English degree, and his father, Tracy Martin, will accept the award for their son. The two have turned to advocacy work for victims of violence and their families, establishing the Trayvon Martin Foundation, a social justice organization with headquarters on the campus.

“Sybrina, our alum, epitomizes strength and dignity as she uplifts other victims of violence while effecting change for a more equal and just society,” said Dr. Roslyn Clark Artis, the university president, in the statement announcing the award.

The university, in Miami Gardens, Fla., came up with the idea to give him a degree because this year is the fifth anniversary of his death, and, had Mr. Martin lived and completed university in a four-year program, he would have graduated this spring, Ceeon Smith, a university spokeswoman, said an interview on Friday.

Ms. Fulton thanked the university on her Twitter account for the degree. In an interview on Friday, she said that the experience would be an emotional one but that she hoped it would inspire other students to pursue their academic dreams.

“Of course anybody can imagine that I would much rather be sitting in the audience and watching Trayvon walking across the stage and getting his bachelor’s degree,” she said. He wanted to continue his education either as an aviator or mechanic, she added. “He had not decided which one he wanted to do. That was near and dear to his heart, and it is absolutely something near and dear to Tracy’s heart and my heart.”

Mr. Martin was shot dead by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, on Feb. 26, 2012, at a gated community in Sanford, Fla. Mr. Martin was unarmed at the time, and his death — and the initial absence of charges against Mr. Zimmerman — prompted a nationwide outcry.

He was ultimately charged with second-degree murder but was acquitted after a jury in 2013 rejected the prosecution’s contention that he had deliberately pursued Mr. Martin because he assumed the hoodie-clad teenager was a criminal and instigated a fight. Mr. Zimmerman said he shot Mr. Martin in self-defense after the teenager knocked him to the ground, punched him and slammed his head repeatedly against the sidewalk.

Mr. Martin’s death inspired documentariesfilms, and books that touched on racial bias and gun violence, and put a spotlight on Florida as a symbol of self-defense laws.

Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin, and his father, Tracy Martin, in Washington in 2012.CreditAlex Wong/Getty Images

Mr. Martin’s love for flying was documented in news features after his death, including one in The Tampa Bay Times that said he had attended the George T. Baker Aviation School, and was inspired by his uncle, Ronald Fulton, who had a brief career in aviation, the newspaper report said.

Ms. Fulton said that Mr. Martin had studied with Barrington Irving, the first black person to pilot a plane around the world solo in 2007, in after-school and summer programs.

Florida Memorial University is a private, historically black institution with undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Established in 1879, it has about 1,400 students.

College in the U.S. Is More Expensive Than in Any Other Country in the World

The price of a college degree is more expensive in America than anywhere else in the world, according to a new report from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. The OECD looked at public and private college costs in its 35 member countries and found that higher education is priciest in the United States by a significant margin. Business Insider notes that while “one-third of countries do not charge tuition for public institutions,” and 10 countries have public tuition costs that average less than $4,000 annually, getting a diploma from a public institution in the U.S. generally runs about $8,202 a year. The closest competitor on that front is Chile, where public college costs average $7,654 annually.

Private college costs in America outpace those in other countries by a staggering rate. On average, attending a private college in the U.S. will set students—and their families—back by about $21,189. No other country even comes close in this regard, as illustrated by a comparison chart from Business Insider.

Both public and private college tuition rates in the U.S. have increased at a rate higher than inflation, making higher education prohibitively expensive for a lot of American families. A 2014 investigation by Mother Jones found the “cost of undergraduate education is 12 times higher than it was 35 years ago” and “the indexed price of college tuition and fees skyrocketed by more than 1,122 percent since 1978.” As a result, students are forced to take on debts in the form of public and private loans to the tune of roughly $100 billion a year, according to CNBC. The outlet reports that the total cost of student debt now stands at $1.2 trillion.

Kali Holloway is a senior writer and the associate editor of media and culture at AlterNet.

Whites Cleansed from U.S. Schools

White Americans are being ethnically cleansed from entire regions of the country’s public school system, with one out of four students coming from Third World immigrant households in 2015—up from 11 percent in 1990, and 7 percent in 1980, a new report has revealed.

(New Observer Online)

According to the report, titled “Mapping the Impact of Immigration on Public Schools,” issued by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), the number of nonwhite immigrant children in U.S. public schools is now so high in some areas that it “raises profound questions about assimilation,” and has affected the tax income expectations, which in turn means that those affected regions are set to be plunged into Third World poverty status.

“What’s more, immigration has added enormously to the number of public school students who are in poverty and the number who speak a foreign language. This cannot help but to create significant challenges for schools, often in areas already struggling to educate students who come from disadvantaged backgrounds,” the report said.

Furthermore, in 2015, between one-fourth and one-third of public school students from immigrant households were the children of illegal immigrants; the remainder were the children from legal immigrant households.

Other findings of the report revealed that:

Immigrant households are concentrated; just 700 Census Bureau-designated “Public Use Microdata Areas” (PUMAs) account for two-thirds of students from immigrant households, these same PUMAs account for nearly one-third of total public school enrollment.

In these 700 immigrant-heavy areas, half the students are from immigrant households.

There are many PUMAs in which well more than half of the students are from immigrant households, for example:

– 93 percent in Northeast Dade County, North Central Hialeah City, Fla.

– 91 percent in Jackson Heights and North Corona, New York City, N.Y.

– 85 percent in Westpark Tollway between Loop I-610 & Beltway Houston, Texas.

– 83 percent in El Monte and South El Monte Cities, Calif.

– 78 percent in Annandale & West Falls Church, Va.

– 74 percent in Fort Lee, Cliffside Park & Palisades Park, N.J.

In the top 700 immigrant-heavy areas, one sending country typically predominates. On average, the top sending country accounts for 52 percent of students from immigrant households in these areas.

On average, students from immigrant households live in a PUMA in which 41 percent of their fellow public school students are also from immigrant households. In contrast, on average students from native households live in a PUMA in which 17 percent of students are from immigrant households.

Immigration has added disproportionately to the number of low-income students in public schools. In 2015, 28 percent of public school students from immigrant households lived in poverty and they accounted for 30 percent of all students living below the poverty line.

Immigrants often settle in areas of high poverty, adding to the challenges for schools in these areas. In the 200 PUMAs with the highest poverty rates in the country, where poverty among students averages 46 percent, nearly one-third of students are from immigrant households.

Immigration has added enormously to the population of students who speak a foreign language. In 2015, 23 percent of public school students spoke a language other than English at home. This compares to 14 percent in 1990 and 9 percent in 1980.

On average, public school students who themselves speak a foreign language at home live in an area in which 42 percent of their fellow students also speak a foreign language at home.

Though one language often predominates in an area, many local schools struggle to deal with a multiplicity of foreign languages, which creates enormous challenges. In 315 PUMAs (combined enrollment 6.7 million) 10 or more foreign languages are spoken by public school students.

In addition to adding large numbers of students in poverty and for whom English is not their first language, immigration also creates significant challenges for schools because immigrants have lower incomes, making it unlikely that tax revenue grows correspondingly with enrollment in areas of high immigration.

Some of the metropolitan areas where students from immigrant households account for the largest share of enrollment include:

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif., 60 percent; Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, Calif., 57 percent; Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, Fla., 54 percent; McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas, 50 percent; San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif., 50 percent; Yuma, Ariz., 50 percent; Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, Fla., 46 percent; Laredo, Texas, 45 percent; Las Cruces, N.M., 44 percent; New York-Newark-Jersey City, 44 percent; Yakima, Wash., 44 percent; Fresno, Calif., 43 percent; Trenton, N.J., 42 percent; Brownsville-Harlingen, Texas, 42 percent; Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, Nev., 38 percent; Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, 37 percent; Gainesville, Ga., 36 percent.

Why are Orthodox Jews moving to South Bend, Indiana? School vouchers.

This story is sponsored by the Orthodox Union.

It has been more than a decade since Curtis “Yehuda” Franks moved to South Bend, Indiana, and most of the time he doesn’t give a second thought to being a visibly Orthodox Jew in this Midwestern city.

Franks teaches philosophy at the University of Notre Dame, a prominent Catholic university known for the Fighting Irish football team, which has helped make the city of 100,000 an island of cosmopolitanism in the rural Midwest. It’s also home to a small yet vibrant Orthodox community.

But leave South Bend and it’s another world. Franks, who with his beard, white shirt and dark pants looks Hasidic, remembers stopping to buy tires at a Sears in small-town Indiana and being asked by the cashier if he was from a nearby Amish village.

When Franks told her that he had never heard of the town, the cashier told him, “Oh, you’d love it there.”

Franks is among a growing number of Orthodox Jews who have moved to South Bend in recent years. The city has all of the key infrastructure elements necessary for an Orthodox Jewish life: two Orthodox synagogues, a kosher market, an eruv enclosure, a mikvah ritual bath, a day school and high schools.

But South Bend offers another unique draw for Orthodox Jews: a state-run school voucher program in which public funds can go toward tuition at private schools, including religious ones. That has helped make Jewish day school tuition in Indiana supremely affordable – free in some cases – for Jewish families that meet certain income requirements.

It’s one of the reasons the Orthodox Union is promoting South Bend as an attractive option for Orthodox families looking to relocate from the Northeast. South Bend has about 100 Orthodox families, the O.U. estimates. In addition to the South Bend Hebrew Day School, the city is home to a high school yeshiva for boys and a Bais Yaakov for girls.

Residents say South Bend offers a welcoming atmosphere without the stress and high cost of living in a big city.

“I like the quiet and the pace of it,” Franks said. “The cost of living is very low, so you can put a lot of your emotional efforts into the right type of things other than financial stress.”

Because the city’s Orthodox community is so small, members work hard to make new arrivals feel at home.

Shlomo and Michal Wadler, both Brooklyn natives, moved to South Bend six years ago so Shlomo could study for his doctorate in theology at Notre Dame. Michal works as a physical therapist, and the couple has a 7-year-old child and a 4-year-old Hoosier — an Indiana native.

“It’s an extremely warm community,” Shlomo Wadler said. “For the first few months, people were bringing us meals for Shabbat. I don’t think we cooked for Shabbat for the first couple of months.”

Zvi Silver, who moved to town from Pittsburgh seven years ago and is now the board president of the South Bend Hebrew Day School, said, “Everyone knows each other and looks out for each other.”

Silver said the school has seen steady growth in recent years, with 170 students enrolled this fall, up from 159 last year.

Of those, more than half were beneficiaries of Indiana’s voucher program. Under the Indiana program, a family of four earning less than $45,000 per year can get a voucher worth the full cost of tuition. Students whose parents make up to $67,000 annually can get a 50 percent voucher.

Standard tuition rates at South Bend Hebrew Day School range from $4,500 to $6,950, depending on the grade. Last year, 57 students were on a full voucher and 26 were on a partial voucher, according to Silver.

Five years ago, Shani and Aryeh Kramer were living in Lakewood, New Jersey, when Aryeh saw a job advertised for a kosher grocer “out of town” and became curious. When their air conditioning broke down on the eve of a July 4 weekend — with no one available to fix it — they decided spontaneously to drive 13 hours to make it to South Bend for Shabbat.

Today, Aryeh manages the local Midwest Kosher and Deli in South Bend.

“We fell in love with the small-town feeling,” Shani Kramer said. “We had lived in a New Jersey town that was big, but I felt that nobody knew I existed there. I missed that feeling of people caring about each other. This is a place where you can be somebody and every single person counts and can contribute. We’ve never looked back.”

The school vouchers also make a huge difference, Shani says. The couple have four children.

“We fell in love with it and six weeks later we moved here,” she said. “South Bend found us rather than the other way around.”

The vouchers are a boon for South Bend’s Orthodox community, according to Michall Goldman, outgoing executive director of the Community Development Initiative of South Bend, which tries to bolster Orthodox Jewish life in the city.

“We are a desirable place to relocate because of the vouchers, but our goal is that anyone who has moved here will be successful – either they have a job offer waiting for them here or they are able to continue their work there,” Goldman said, adding that a family with six children can make around $100,000 per year and still afford a decent house.

The median price of homes in South Bend is $99,000, according to, with the median price per square foot at $77. That’s a fraction of prices in the Northeast, where most Orthodox Jews live. In Brooklyn, square footage costs 10 times the South Bend price, according to Zillow.

South Bend also benefits from geography. The city is only 95 miles from Chicago and a four-hour drive from Cleveland and Detroit. The local airport has daily flights to Newark. Notre Dame is a major source of employment for professionals from across the country, and the area has extensive opportunities in the medical and mental health field.

About five to 10 new Orthodox families move to South Bend each year, Goldman estimated.

Most Orthodox arrivals know and care little about South Bend’s Catholic reputation or the history of the Notre Dame football team, which is believed to have invented the now popular phrase “Hail Mary” to describe a desperation pass and whose stadium is known for the Touchdown Jesus mural on the main campus library visible from the stands.

“In our demographic they haven’t really heard about it,” Goldman said.

The Jewish community of South Bend has a storied history and long has been part of the fabric of local life. The Jewish Federation of St. Joseph Valley, which includes South Bend and the surrounding area, estimates the overall Jewish community at 1,800. Orthodox Judaism here dates at least back to the 19th century. Hebrew Orthodox Congregation, the black hat-style Orthodox synagogue in town, was established in 1887. The other Orthodox shul is the Midwest Torah Center.

Twice a year, the Orthodox Union holds a Jewish Communities Fair in New York where families considering moving can meet with representatives of communities interested in recruiting Orthodox Jews.

Rabbi Judah Isaacs, who as the O.U.’s director of community engagement works to help bolster South Bend and other “out of town” Orthodox communities like Southfield, Michigan, and Overland Park, Kansas, says he highlights the intimacy, low cost of living and anchor Orthodox institutions when trying to sell these Midwestern communities to potential newcomers from the Northeast. He tells the communities they must have jobs available if they want to draw new families.

“Orthodox Jews moving to the Midwest need to go with an out-of-the-box perspective,” he said. “Small can be nice.”

(This article was sponsored by and produced in partnership with the Orthodox Union, the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization, dedicated to engaging and strengthening the Jewish community, and to serving as the voice of Orthodox Judaism in North America. This article was produced by JTA’s native content team.)

Teacher Under Fire for Why She Booted Pro-Trump Students Out of Class


A Georgia teacher is under fire after video emerged of her booting students out of her class for wearing “Make America Great Again” T-shirts.

During her rant, the teacher also compared the slogan to a swastika.

The video was posted by conservative student group Turning Point USA on Saturday. According to TheBlaze, the incident occurred last Thursday at River Ridge High School in the northern Atlanta suburb of Woodstock.

“Just like you cannot wear a swastika to school, you cannot wear ‘(Make America Great Again)’ like that,” the teacher can be heard saying to the students.

“Please go, at least for this class,” she added. “I don’t care what you do in other classes.”


High school teacher calls Trump shirt a “swastika” and makes him take it off in class!

How is this ok!?!


When another student questioned the teacher’s rationale, she stood firm that the individual wearing the shirt would have to flip it inside out or leave class

“Wait, so both of them have to like flip their shirts inside out because it says Trump on the top?” the student can be heard saying. “They have to flip their shirts inside out it’s got Trump on it?”

“Because it says ‘Make America Great Again,’” the teacher responded. “The neo-Nazis — I’m not saying about Trump, but the slogan.”

Calling a high schooler who supports the president a neo-Nazi and asking him to leave class — and all with taxpayer dollars. Impressive!

Back in 1969, in Tinker v. Des Moines, the Supreme Court ruled by a 7-2 verdict that students who chose to wear black armbands to their public school to protest the Vietnam War were allowed to do so under the First Amendment. “Students don’t shed their constitutional rights at the school house gates,” read the majority decision, authored by Justice Abe Fortas.

Of course, they were lionized by liberals; being publicly and unreservedly against the Vietnam War was a prerequisite, then as now, to being part of the American left.

However, to this teacher, those rights don’t apply if the political speech is conservative. In that case, it becomes totally acceptable not only to bully a high school student out of their class for his political opinions, but to call them a neo-Nazi.

This teacher needs to either publicly apologize for shaming a teenager in front of the entire class or be punished to the fullest extent disciplinary rules allow. Anything else should be considered unacceptable, especially given the fact she violated this student’s constitutional rights.

Orthodox Jewish woman is new dean of University of Chicago Divinity School

The University of Chicago Divinity School has named an Orthodox Jewish woman as its new dean.

Laurie Zoloth, 67, a bioethicist and a scholar of religion and Judaic studies, became the school’s dean in July.

Zoloth previously served on the faculty at Northwestern University, holding appointments in the department of religious studies and its school of medicine. Her research explores religion and ethics, and she has written books on Jewish social justice in health care and the Jewish perspective on genetics.

She was the inaugural director of the Jewish studies program at San Francisco State University, and in 2014 was the president of the American Academy of Religion.

Zoloth was a neonatal nurse working in impoverished communities before turning to academia. She received a master’s degree in Jewish studies and a doctorate in social ethics from the Graduate Theological Union. Zoloth also holds a master’s degree in English from San Francisco State University.

The University of Chicago Divinity School offers master of divinity degrees in what it calls “a Christian context,” but accepts students from all faith traditions, according to its website. It offers courses and research opportunities across the range of religions.

Frank Yamada, executive director of the Association of Theological Schools, told Religion News Service that he’s not aware of another Jewish dean leading a university divinity school.

Zoloth, whose husband, Rabbi Dan Dorfman, died last year, describes herself as a “a lifelong activist from the ’60s.” In a 2014 interview, she said she was raised in a secular Jewish home in Los Angeles but became part of a “wonderful Orthodox religious community” as a college student.

“The questions of religion are at the center of our national life. We see today questions of good and evil, how we ought to live and what we owe one another,” she told Religion News Service. “Our job is to uncover the truth and ask questions: What does it mean to be a human being? What does it mean to be free? And what must we do about the suffering of others? The university exists to pursue this.”