On the heels of Donald Trump’s presidential election, there has been an uptick of national hate crimes — especially those aimed at Muslims — and Brooklyn is no exception.
According to a letter sent to schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña last week and written by Councilman Carlos Menchaca and members of Community Education Council 15 and 21, public school employees in Bay Ridge and Sunset Park told immigrant students, “they’d better start packing their bags,” The Brooklyn Daily first reported.
“I recently met with parents from CECs 15 and 20 and local community organizations. They expressed urgent concerns about what their children have experienced at school since the recent national election,” Menchaca’s letter reads, according to the Daily. “Parents have reported to me alarming details of recent student bullying, harmful language, hostile treatment by non-teacher employees, and students overhearing inappropriate comments among DOE staff.”
Indeed, all across New York, hate crimes are up this year, with a “31.5 percent uptick in bias incidents” reported in 2016 as compared to last year, Gothamist reported.
Menchaca suggested, in his letter, that the Department of Education sponsor outreach meetings for immigrant communities within Sunset Park whose children are being met with racist discrimination in school, Gothamist reported. As well, he requested that the DOE make sure their staff is trained to handle implicit bias.
This is far from the first report of post-election hate in southern Brooklyn. Students we spoke with at New Utrecht High School last week said that, while they haven’t noticed any significant changes since Trump’s election besides a general gloom, they feared an increase in racism and sexism within their community. Especially towards their Chinese friends and neighbors, who they say already face a significant amount of racial bias from their fellow renters and homeowners in areas such as Dyker Heights.
Over the weekend, swastika graffiti was painted on playground equipment at Adam Yauch Park in Brooklyn Heights. The community responded by redecorating the place where the swastikas had been with hearts.
Update: The headline of this story originally said “teachers” when in fact it was “non-teacher” employees who made the remarks, as we specify in the body of the article. We are very sorry for the confusion, we were confused ourselves. At least it comes as a relief that no educators were saying this. The content of this piece has not been changed, only the headline.