Home Business Hillcrest High School safety office attacked, teacher hid in classroom during riot – NBC New York

Hillcrest High School safety office attacked, teacher hid in classroom during riot – NBC New York

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Alarming incidents by students at a Queens high school — including an alleged attack on a safety officer and a riot that forced a teacher to run and hide because she attended at pro-Israel event — were at the forefront of a rally held by two dozen concerned parents, community members and elected New York City officials demanding change.

The NYPD said multiple people were facing charges after what occurred at Hillcrest High School over the span of a week earlier in November, according to police and community officials.

On Nov. 20, students rioted in the hallways of the Briarwood school after some had learned a teacher attended a pro-Israel rally. Video of the chaos that ensued went viral, as the teacher was forced to run and hide in a classroom closet for her safety after she was chased by students.

In another incident at the same school a week before that, students attacked a uniformed school safety officer, police said. The students responsible for the attack were taken into custody and charged, though their names were not immediately released and it was not known what charges they face.

It also was not immediately clear whether the incidents were related, officials said. Elected officials sounded off on what occurred at the school, and how the administration handled the situation.

“The school administration tried to cover this up in the same way they tried to cover up the riot. It’s clear that the administration of Hillcrest is totally compromised and either unwilling or unable to do what’s necessary to provide a safe environment to their students or their faculty,” said Queens City Councilwoman Vickie Paladino, calling for the school to be shut down so a “full and thorough investigation” can be conducted.

“Furthermore, they seem more than willing to cover up crimes committed by their students in service of a political narrative, and to prevent these criminal students from facing consequences. Were it not brought to the attention of my office, this may have remained covered up. And who knows what else they’re hiding at this point,” Paladino said in a post on X, formerly Twitter. “The students who committed these acts must be arrested immediately and face appropriate criminal charges. This cannot continue in our schools. Order and discipline must be restored.”

City Councilman Eric Dinowitz echoed those complaints, saying that while the school administrations is “figuring out the best press release to give or how to handle the Media, we are scared.” In a social media post, New York City Mayor Eric Adams called video of the riot a “vile show of antisemitism…motivated by ignorance-fueled hatred.”

“The real question is: What’s going to happen from now? What’s going to happen in the schools? Are these students going to be expelled, are they going to be punished?“ asked Assemblyman David Weprin. “What is the plan that the Department of Education is going to have to prevent this from happening again? We need to know and we need to know now.”

The school said that it was conducting a full investigation, with resources being deployed in order to educate the students on why what occurred was unacceptable. In a statement from United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew, the union said they have been working with the teacher involved, as well as school safety, the city’s Department of Education and the police since the riot on Nov. 20.

“The union will continue to send staff to the building and to work with the administration, DOE safety personnel, school safety, and the NYPD to restore and maintain a safe environment for faculty, students and staff,” said Mulgrew.

NYC Schools Chancellor David Banks, an alum of Hillcrest, said Monday that much of the dialogue at his former school is “overblown,” saying that the vast majority of the 2,500 students who attend are not involved in any kind of hate speech or violence.


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