Hundreds of students riot at Queens high school as terrified Jewish teacher hides in office

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Monday, November 27, 2023
Students storm hallways in protest causing terrified teacher to hide in office
CeFaan Kim reports from Jamaica, Queens with the latest.

JAMAICA, Queens (WABC) -- An investigation is underway in Queens where students at Hillcrest High School stormed the hallways in protest after learning a Jewish teacher attended a pro-Israel rally.

The chaos last Monday was all caught on camera. It lasted for hours as the terrified teacher hid in a locked office.

Schools Chancellor David Banks said Monday that education is about character and that he wanted to listen to both students and staff -- and both the Jewish community and the Muslim community.

He said building trust with students is a priority, but he said discipline will be swift and fair after 400 students in Jamaica, Queens, rioted inside the school.

Their target was a teacher who they discovered had attended a pro-Israeli rally. She had to hide in a locked office afraid for her safety.

The raucous protest happened last Monday morning as kids flooded the hallways, waving Palestinian flags and chanting "Free Palestine."

Students say a water fountain was allegedly ripped out and the boys bathroom was vandalized. Dozens of cops rushed to the school to restore order.

Countless students told Eyewitness News on Monday that it was the wrong way to protest and that things got out of hand.

The incident came days after four students were arrested after a fight inside the same school in Queens.

School safety agents were attempting to break up a brawl among students when they were themselves struck on November 15.

Four students, two 15-year-old boys, and two 16-year-old boys, were detained and issued juvenile reports

The three school safety agents were treated for injuries.

Councilwoman Vickie Paladino called Hillcrest High School "totally compromised" and called for the school to be shut down "pending a full and thorough investigation."

NYPD responded with its own tweet that students were already arrested and charged.

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