Back to All Press Release

NYCLU on House Committee Hearing on New York City Schools

NEW YORK, NY – In response to today’s House Committee hearing on antisemitism and the questioning of New York City Public School Chancellor David Banks, the New York Civil Liberties Union issued the following statement, attributable to Executive Director Donna Lieberman:

“In these complex and challenging times, schools should be supporting students to think critically, use their voices, and engage in tough conversations, not punishing or silencing them for speaking out. While bullying and harassment in schools must be addressed, congressional and city leaders must also recognize that both pro-Palestinian and pro-Israel speech, including contested political slogans, are protected speech. Chancellor Banks should resist pressure from the House Committee to conflate political criticism with hate.

“Committee leaders are using these McCarthyite hearings to intimidate school officials and press them to chill student advocacy and views they don’t like. These hearings have already threatened student and faculty speech, academic freedom, and protest rights across the country. At today’s hearing, Committee Chair Aaron Bean absurdly demanded to know how many students had been ‘fired,’ revealing the Committee’s true goals of political grandstanding and suppression of free expression. Congressional leaders should remember that children deserve support and second chances even when they falter.

“As the leader of the nation’s largest and most diverse public school system, Chancellor Banks must stand on the side of critical thinking, free expression, engagement, and learning and ensure students feel supported to participate in raising their voices on the issues that matter to them.”

As bold as the spirit of New York, we are the NYCLU.
© 2024 New York
Civil Liberties Union