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2 staff members allege antisemitism and hostile environment at Origins High School in Brooklyn

DOE investigating antisemitism allegations at Brooklyn high school
DOE investigating antisemitism allegations at Brooklyn high school 02:04

NEW YORK -- Two staff members at a Brooklyn high school are alleging antisemitism and a hostile environment, pointing the finger at administrators and the schools chancellor for turning a blind eye.

They spoke with CBS New York on Sunday about what they say has been going on for years.

"I live in fear going to work every day," said Danielle Kaminsky, a global history teacher at Origins High School.

Kaminsky has been working at the school for seven years and says it has become increasingly more hostile.

"I've had students call me a 'dirty Jew.' I've had students draw swastikas on my desk and bulletin boards. I've had students tell me they wanted to kill my family," Kaminsky said.

Watch Jenna DeAngelis' report

2 staff members allege antisemitism, hostile environment at Origins High School in Brooklyn 02:17

Photos she shared show a "Free Palestine" post-it notes placed on her classroom door, and a disturbing social media post.

Kaminsky said the hateful behavior has resulted in students leaving the school.

"On a former Jewish student they drew swastika on his laptop charger," Kaminsky said. "The school has no consequences, or they just say it's academic conversation."

In a letter to the school community, the principal wrote, "I can assure you that we do not tolerate discrimination or hate in our community, and respond to all potential acts of discrimination, harassment, or bias that may occur."

Campus safety manager Michael Beaudry said he made 15 complaints to the special commissioner of investigation for New York City Public Schools already this school year but none, to his knowledge, have been addressed.

"You are perpetuating an acceptance to the behavior, which is now creating an environment where it's happening more frequent and harsher," Beaudry said.

In a statement, a spokesperson said the Department of Education is investigating the allegations, adding, "While there are no reports or evidence to support these claims, students and staff deserve to be safe and respected in their school," while also praising the principal's "track record of building bridges."

"At the school, it's not just antisemitism that has been left unchecked. There's also been incidents of racism," City Councilwoman Inna Vernikov said.

Community leaders held a news conference Sunday, urging the district to do more.

"I've been asking one question from the DOE for the last eight months: What are the consequences for students who do this and what are the consequences for teachers? I'm still waiting for an answer," Vernikov said.

In the letter, the principal noted there will be opportunities this week for the school community to come together to determine ways forward.

Kaminsky and Beaudry said they hope speaking out will lead to change.

CBS New York reached out to the school's principal directly on Sunday, but has not yet heard back.

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