Local Rabbi: Anti-Jewish gag-order ‘bad mistake’ by California school district

A California school district is under fire after an antisemitic incident resulted in a school asking victimized children and their parents to sign what critics describe as a gag order.


A California school district is under fire after an antisemitic incident resulted in a school asking victimized children and their parents to sign what critics describe as a gag order.

The incident, first disclosed by Libs of Tik Tok on X, occurred when certain students allegedly told other, Jewish students at Manhattan Beach Middle School that “revenge is beautiful” and “all Jews should be killed.” 

The threatening comments were made in regard to the Hamas terror attacks on innocent Israeli citizens launched over a week ago, which resulted in hundreds of dead, including the elderly and children. 

The social media post from the Libs of Tik Tok also included a screenshot of the document in question, which the middle school allegedly used to silence the victims of the incident.

Rabbi Yossi Mintz told The Lion that a member of the Manhattan Beach Unified School District (MBUSD) school board promised that MBUSD would undertake measures to rectify the “mistakes” made in handling the incident.

Mintz is the director of the local Jewish Community Center, Chabad of Beach Cities.  

“This was a very sad situation” Mintz told The Lion. “It was a bad mistake by a school district that used a form they normally use for kids who have been bullied. The way they handled it was a lie.” 

In a written statement provided to The Lion, the district calls the gag order document a “no contact contract,” and claims it is “commonly used in school districts across the country.” 

“They ask students to avoid each other and not speak to one another in order to avoid re-igniting situations we are trying to resolve,” the district wrote. “Although the school requested that all students who were directly involved in this incident to enter into its standard ‘No Contact Contract,’ no students involved in this situation were required to sign it, nor was a gag order ever Administered.” 

However, the district admits it is updating the language of the contract “to eliminate confusion.” 

Mintz said that at first the school district tried to claim that the remarks made by the students were simply anti-Israeli, thus protected as political speech.

In the meantime, Mintz said he has talked to city council members at Manhattan Beach, one school board member and the superintendent of MBUSD. 

All have agreed that they will take certain unspecified actions that Mintz recommended to remediate the problem, he said.  

When Mintz was asked to specify what actions he recommended, he suggested that The Lion call the school district.

“We’ll see shortly if they are sincere,” added Mintz, who said that he did not believe that the officials he spoke with were antisemitic.     

It’s not the first time that MBUSD has wrestled with antisemitism.  

In February 2022, MBNews reported on a “rash” of antisemitic incidents at MBUSD schools, which included five separate crimes over a three-week period.   

“These hate incidents are disgusting and will not be tolerated. The school district has reacted quickly but we know we still have far to go,” said then-MBUSD President Sally Peel in a statement at the time. “Parents in our community, as well as grandparents, neighbors, and trusted leaders must all work together and some of that work is already underway. While these symbols of hate can be removed from our campuses, the lasting impact on our community cannot.” 

Mintz said the root of the problem goes back to the homes of the students who are spouting antisemitism.  

“I want to know where it’s coming from,” Mintz said. 

Mintz alleged that he saw a social media account from an adult associated with one of the kids involved in the antisemitic incidents, an account that has been since deleted.  

“It had a lot of anti-US, anti-Jewish and anti-Israel messages,” the Rabbi told the Lion.