Community Update: Hanover County Public School Incident
On Tuesday morning, leaders of the Jewish Community Federation of Richmond, the ADL Washington, D.C. Regional Office, and the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities met with leaders from Hanover County Public Schools, including Dr. Michael Gill, Superintendent, Chris Whitley, Assistant Superintendent of Community Engagement and Legislative Affairs, and Jennifer Greif, Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Leadership, to discuss the concerning image that was created for a professional development conference for educators.
Our meeting was productive and included an open discussion regarding how the incident occurred, what steps have been taken since, and an acknowledgment of the impact this episode has had on the Jewish community and other marginalized groups targeted by bigotry and hate in Hanover and beyond. Dr. Gill and his team were receptive to our suggestions regarding ways to prevent future incidents, as well as our offer to provide resources and support to help educate and heal in the aftermath of this incident.
The three agencies in attendance, along with our partners at the Virginia Holocaust Museum, are committed to working with Hanover County Public School leaders to ensure that students, families, and educators have the resources they need in the face of antisemitism, bias, and hate. This meeting was the first step in what will be an ongoing dialogue between our organizations and Hanover County Public Schools. While we wish the circumstances were different for our gathering, we look forward to future collaboration and partnership.
As antisemitism and hate continue to escalate, our civic and community leaders must respond forcefully and effectively to counter hatred and bigotry with integrity and understanding. We thank our colleagues at Hanover County Public Schools for their commitment to partnering with us in this critical work.