In the wake of the unexpected series of attacks launched by Hamas on Israel on the morning of October 7th, various school districts and colleges in the metro Atlanta area have responded by offering prayers and condolences through social media and email channels.
Atlanta, GA – In the wake of the unexpected series of attacks launched by Hamas on Israel on the morning of October 7th, various school districts and colleges in the metro Atlanta area have responded by offering prayers and condolences through social media and email channels.
Emory University, situated in the heart of Atlanta, made headlines with its President, Gregory Fenves, condemning the Hamas attacks in a university-wide email sent on October 11th. The attacks resulted in the tragic loss of over 1,000 Israeli citizens. Fenves expressed his deep concern, stating, “The reality of Jews being senselessly murdered and taken as hostages will not soon leave my mind and must be condemned in the strongest personal terms.”
This email followed a heartfelt plea from a group of Jewish students at Emory who had addressed an open letter to Fenves, urging the university’s administration to “stand with Israel” during this challenging time.
On October 12, Fulton County Schools issued a statement that conveyed their collective grief over the loss of lives and the ongoing violence in the Middle East. The statement read in part, “Even though war is raging far away, we cannot ignore how intimately it affects us here at home. People you know who live here, work here, and send children to school here in our community have been impacted by the war. They are grieving, but they do not need to grieve alone. Although it may be hard to understand the unimaginable sorrow families and friends may be feeling at this time, we can extend sympathy and be present for one another.”
However, some commenters on social media pressed the district for a more explicit condemnation of Hamas and an acknowledgment of Israel in their statement.
Atlanta Public Schools released their statement on October 13, expressing heartbreak over the violence facing children and families in the Middle East. They expressed hope for a peaceful resolution to the complex geopolitical issues, emphasizing the importance of safety and stability for children in that region.
In response, a concerned parent commented on social media, “What is the point of APS making a statement other than to give psychological comfort to its Jewish students and their parents who are members of a nation of people so brutally victimized by terror? This one fails. But, every mistake is an opportunity to learn. Here APS would do well to send its young leaders to the Atlanta Black Jewish Coalition’s Project Understanding. Maybe then they would have sufficient diversity of perspectives in the administration to have more meaningful responses to acts of terror fueled by hatred of the Jewish people.”
As of the latest available information, Cobb County Schools, DeKalb County Schools, Clayton County Schools, and Douglas County Schools have not made public statements regarding the terrorist attacks launched by Hamas on Israel. The responses from various school districts and colleges in the Atlanta area continue to evolve as the situation unfolds.