NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams and New York City Department of Education Chancellor David C. Banks today released the following statement on the alarming increase of hateful rhetoric being expressed at educational institutions across both the city and the nation, particularly surrounding the ongoing war resulting from the attack on Israel on October 7:
“New York City is home to people of all ethnicities, religions, and cultures, and all students in our schools deserve the opportunity to learn without discrimination or hate. While students have the freedom and the right to peacefully protest, so many of the images and videos we’ve seen at educational institutions across our city and this nation over the last few weeks have been marred with insensitive and threatening language, including dangerous slogans and chants that demonstrate a basic lack of cultural or historical understanding. We cannot allow misinformation and hate to replace education and empathy, especially at our places of learning.
“In recent weeks, inaccuracies on unsourced sites have fueled toxic rhetoric and division at educational institutions nationwide, including here in New York City — fostering an alarming environment of hate. To be clear, hate has no place in our schools or anywhere else in our city, and we will not tolerate this behavior.
“Our educational institutions should be places of peace, and that begins by having conversations and learning from one another. To foster that environment, we will be asking superintendents to work together with their local principals and community and faith leaders to help develop and teach cultural understanding at our city’s schools. The goals of these conversations will be to explore diverse perspectives and the contributions of all individuals and groups, not encourage or promote any religion or viewpoint. We will get through this the way New Yorkers get through every crisis: together.”