Arizona Jewish community berates “It’s the Jews’ rant” at local school board meeting

Chandler High School. Photo credit: Tony the Marine (talk) / Wikimedia Commons

An Arizona Jewish group called on a Phoenix-area school district to condemn a bizarre anti-Semitic rant uttered at a school board meeting last week, prompting a further response from local officials.

Queen Creek resident Melanie Rettle accused ‘Jews’ of plotting to deploy ineffective COVID-19 vaccines and cause inflation, says Jewish News from the Greater Phoenix report, at a school board meeting of the Chandler Unified School District on Oct. 27.

“If you want to talk about racism, if you want to introduce it, then let’s bring it in. Let’s get to the bottom of it. We are talking about white supremacy. OK, let’s get to the bottom of it, ”the woman said.

“Every one of those things, the Deep State, the Cabal, the Swamp, the Elite – you can’t mention it, but I will – there’s a race that owns all the drug companies and these vaccines aren’t sure, they are not effective and they are not free. You know you pay for it by increasing gasoline prices, increasing food prices – you pay for it and it’s taken on. your money and given to these drug companies, and if you want to bring the race into this: it’s the Jews.

After Rettler gave the floor to applause from several members of the audience, board chairman Bob Mozdzen said: “The comments really have to be related to what the school board can do, and it wasn’t. not something we can do something about. So please have your comments on something that is within our purview.

In a letter the next day, the Arizona branch of the Anti-Defamation League said the official’s reprimand on the woman did not match the seriousness of the comments.

“The lack of response from board members to last night’s public speaker who used blatant anti-Semitic tropes and stereotypes to promote anti-vaccine and anti-CRT views is simply appalling and dangerous.” wrote Marc Krell, Associate Regional Director of ADL Arizona in an open letter.

“When we allow the use of anti-Semitic tropes to make false accusations and distract from the truth, we are no longer promoting a safe and inclusive environment for students, educators and administrators. “

Chandler Unified School District spokesperson Terry Locke said Central Arizona Monday that the board did not have time to interrupt Rettler’s most offensive comments, which he added were a shocking conclusion to a 90-second rant.

The incident has now sparked a local discussion about appropriate fodder for school board meetings – the subject of a recent Department of Justice pledge to monitor a “disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation and threats of violence” against public school teachers and district officials.

Speaking to Jewish News Friday, Rabbi Michel Beyo, CEO of the East Valley Jewish Community Center, noted he had been contacted by the acting superintendent of the Chandler Unified School District, Franklin Narducci, to help draft a statement to the community, and commended their final response.

“We strongly denounce the anti-Semitic statement made. All students, staff and community members of the Chandler Unified School District deserve to feel safe, respected and valued, ”said Narducci’s statement, released Oct. 28.

“The district reaffirms its commitment to use its influence as a public educational institution to teach students the value of an inclusive community and empower them to engage in our increasingly diverse society.

About Jefferey G. Cannon

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