Berkeley Superintendent Testifies About Antisemitism on Capitol Hill

Berkeley Unified Superintendent Enikia Ford Morthel appeared before a congressional committee Wednesday to address concerns about rising antisemitism in public schools. She was one of three superintendents from across the nation to testify before lawmakers.

Morthel told the House Committee on Education and the Workforce that there have been nine reports of antisemitism at BUSD, and that all reports have been thoroughly investigated. However, she denied that antisemitism is a widespread problem at Berkeley schools.

In response, Rep. Kevin Kiley (R-Rockln) asked, “if you’re not willing to acknowledge the problem, why can we be confident that it’s being adequately addressed?”

Morthel was repeatedly questioned about disciplinary actions that have been taken in response to her investigations, and if any staff members have been fired. She said she could not give specifics on personnel matters – an answer which also frustrated Republican members.

Allegations of Jewish hate have been on the rise at BUSD schools since the October 7 attacks in Israel and the war in Gaza. The U.S. Department of Education’s Civil Rights Division has launched an investigation into complaints of antisemitism at BUSD. 

Within hours of Morthel’s testimony, a civil rights complaint was also filed on behalf of Palestinian students alleging discrimination at BUSD. 



Thursday, March 28, 2024 - 09:07

School construction bonds faced some headwinds during the March 5 primary, with a passage rate of around 60% compared with the 73% seen in typical past primaries.