EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — The war between Israel and Hamas is leading to a controversy in the world of education.
A Wyoming Seminary graduate and Israeli military veteran says he will no longer make a planned half-a-million-dollar donation to his alma mater.
He cites his decision on a diversity, equity, and inclusion program which he feels has excluded the Jewish community.
“This message says from Wyoming Seminary that it is acceptable to dehumanize Jews. I said you know I can’t be a part of this because this is, at its core, antisemitic,” said Harrison.
1982 Wyoming Seminary graduate Zaq Harrison is furious with his alma mater.
On October 10, three days after Hamas attacked Israel, the school posted on Facebook the following message:
The Wyoming Seminary community extends our thoughts, prayers, and support to all of those affected by the conflict in Israel it goes on to say we wish peace for all during this difficult time. especially for our families and friends with ties to Israel.
He claims Wyoming Seminary should have condemned Hamas for killing 1300 people because they were Jews and that the Facebook post did not go far enough.
“It was like everyone should just kinda get along and really sorry. I don’t know if there is moral confusion coming out,” Harrison.
But Harrison was upset with “Sem” even before this.
It started about two years ago when the school formed its diversity, equity, and inclusion program. He claims it excluded the Jewish community.
“I began to reach out to Wyoming Seminary and said you know the goal of educating kids is that we need to respect each other you know in the big picture I’m behind that but you have to be very careful about which platform you choose and who you partner with and they weren’t,” explained Harrison.
Harrison’s comments to 28/22 News came the same day Wyoming Seminary held its open house. While the school declined to comment on Harrison’s accusations, it did address its core values.
“Part of our motto is that we celebrate the true, the beautiful, and the good and we encourage those virtues in our students,” says Martin J. Mooney the head of Wyoming Seminary.
Students like Que Riggins the President of the student executive board at Wyoming Seminary.
“Wyoming Seminary is a school full of diversity. the administration does give us a lot of encouragement to really give students a platform to feel safe,” added Riggins.
But for Harrison, “Sem” is falling far short when it comes to taking a stand concerning the safety of the Jewish people.
“They put me in a position where they ask me to make a choice between that. Between my people and my school,” continued Harrison.
Harrison said he had planned to donate half a million dollars to Wyoming Seminary in the future.
After the school formed its diversity, equity, and inclusion program, he changed his mind.
He told me that he’s glad he did after the recent Facebook post about the war between Israel and Hamas.