CAIR-NJ Condemns South Brunswick Board of Education President’s Comments About Student Walkout at a Graduation Ceremony 

(NEWARK, NJ, 5/15/2024) — The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ) today condemned South Brunswick Board of Education President Lisa Grieco Rodgers’ claim that students walking out in support of Palestine at a college graduation ceremony was antisemitic and that their diplomas should be revoked.  

SEE: Lisa Grieco Rodgers Social Media Comment 

SEE: Lisa Grieco Rodgers Social Media Comment Archived 

CAIR-NJ condemns these comments made by the School Board President as they put students who may exercise their right to protest in harm’s way. South Brunswick is home to one of New Jersey’s largest mosques and a vibrant Muslim community. Leaders in educational spaces have a responsibility to create a safe space for students who want to speak up for what they believe in. School Board Presidents have a legal responsibility for the well-being of children and alone can speak on behalf of the Board and school district. Grieco Rodgers’ public comments may create a hostile environment for students in the South Brunswick school district who want to use their voice. 

In a statement, CAIR-NJ Executive Director Selaedin Maksut said: 

The comments made by Lisa Grieco Rodgers against the student walkout in support of Palestine at Duke University harms student protestors who simply want to exercise their right to free speech. These comments leave students vulnerable to retaliation from their universities or employers, painting them as antisemitic when in fact, students did not walk out simply because Jerry Seinfeld is Jewish.” 

“Those in positions of power, especially in educational spaces, must ensure that their Muslim and Palestinian students do not feel unsafe when speaking up for what they believe in. Similarly, any student of any faith or background who speaks up for Palestine should feel safe to do so.” 

CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims. 

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CONTACT: CAIR-NJ Executive Director Selaedin Maksut, sMaksut@cair.com, 908-668-5900 ext. 101, 908-267-3119 

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