Education

‘We Need To Call Out Hatred’: Rabbi Urges Cobb Schools To Address Anti-Semitism Head On

The Cobb County School Board met on Thursday, Sept. 24.
The Cobb County School Board met on Thursday, Sept. 24.
Credit Martha Dalton (screen shot) / WABE

School officials recently found anti-Semitic graffiti on bathroom walls at two Cobb County high schools. Swastikas and the words “Hail Hitler” and “Heil Hitler” were written on walls at Pope and Lassiter high schools. Some of the pictures were posted on Instagram, indicating the incidents were part of a social media challenge called “devious licks.”

Cobb officials said the students responsible are facing disciplinary charges.

Still, some community members said the school district hasn’t done enough to confront discrimination in schools.

Larry Sernovitz is the senior rabbi at Temple Kol Emeth in Marietta. Since the first incident at Pope High School, he’s been working with schools and the district on addressing anti-Semitism and other forms of bias. He said the first step is to call the acts what they are.

“For too long we haven’t called out hatred in our country,” Sernovitz said. “This is Marietta, Georgia. This is where the lynching of Leo Frank happened. This is a[n] area which has known anti-Semitism for decades, and it has been swept under the rug.”

Extended interview with Rabbi Larry Sernovitz

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