Teacher’s Facebook Account Hacked with Anti-Semitic Hate Speech

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By Anna Lusson, News Editor

A hacker posted anti-Semitic statements on the personal Facebook account of a District 219 teacher two days before winter break. On Dec. 21 around 6:45 p.m., the hacker used Hebrew teacher and Niles North Israeli Club sponsor Anna Raiber‘s Facebook account to post offensive comments towards Jewish people and Niles West principal, Dr. Karen Ritter.

“I was really upset. I was very, very upset because I did not expect it to happen personally to me. I hear stories, you know, you watch TV, you read the news, but when it happens to you, it feels different. It’s like, why did it happen to me?” Raiber said.

In situations like this, the district investigates to determine if the source of threat originated within the school community and who was involved.

Our district administration and Niles North are in communication with the Skokie Police about this incident. We have measures to prevent hacking on our own internet servers, and it appears this was an outside hacking,” Ritter said. The Skokie Police Department have not yet identified a suspect. 

On Thursday, Jan. 5, the Superintendent of District 219 Tom Moore, sent out an email in response to the hacking.

I was very saddened, and, frankly, outraged, by an act of anti-Semitism online aimed at a member of our D219 family before break. This is not the first time it has happened here, but I want to assure all of our brothers and sisters in the Jewish community that we will not stand for this, and we will instead come together when some, sadly, seek to divide us,” Moore stated in his email. 

The Superintendent closed his email by suggesting that students think about their own role in the community.

As we start 2023, it is fair to wonder just how long it takes for justice to take hold. I would tell you that it is my belief that this arc does not bend of its own weight- we need to pull on that arc, to take it on our backs and move it to justice. 2023 is the time for all of us to decide just what kind of world we want to live in, schools we want to go to, and to realize that we all control the environment around us,” Moore wrote. 

Raiber reflected on what can be learned from an incident like this.

“Yes, this happened in our community, yes there is an investigation and we will find the person who did it. But, I would like us to grow from that, and I would like us to be aware for each and every religion in this school, each and every culture in this school. We don’t have to love each other, but we live here together. We live here together, we have to co-exist together, and I think it will be beautiful for everyone to get to know someone who is different from you,” Raiber said.

Ritter also condemned the incident.

The antisemitism images and language are horrible and disgusting, and even included reference to my name in some of the posts. No one deserves to be treated that way. I am sorry to our students and the teacher who had to go through this painful experience, and we condemn antisemitism at Niles West and Niles North,” Ritter said. 

This incident is similar to one in fall 2020 when a Niles West teacher’s email was used to send offensive content to 219 students, prompting the District to temporarily suspend email use.