Declaring that to his knowledge neither Fascism nor Hitlerism has crept into the public shools of New York, Dr. Harold Campbell, Superintendent of Schools, yesterday characterized as “absolutely wrong” allegations made by a teacher in the public schools pointing out the existence of Fascism and anti-Semitism in lower schools here.
“I have never heard of such charges,” Dr. Campbell said in an interview. “The so-called facts are outrageously inaccurate.”
At a meeting of representatives of organizations planning a demonstration, “The Case of Civilization Against Hitler,” in Madison Square Garden on March 7th, alleged anti-Semitism was brought to light. The meeting, held in the New School for Social Research last week, attained a dramatic climax when a woman teacher gained the floor and cried:
“We have anti-Semitism here in New York! Fascist principles are being drilled into students attending the public schools of this city!”
The teacher declared that many principals in public schools were imbued with anti-Semitic hatred and that in their treatment of teachers working under them they showed favor to non-Jewish instructors.
She charged that a number of teachers in New York’s public schools extolled the type of dictatorship existent in Germany and Italy as preferable to American democracy and proclaimed that the Republic would fall before the world Fascist trend. The teachers, she said, were using their energies in subtle but effective efforts to influence the developing minds of young students toward Fascism.
The teacher also declared that the superintedent of shools is pro-Fascist, and she referred to honors bestowed upon him by the Mussolini government as proof. “After Mussolini gave Dr. Campbell a medal,” she said, “our superintendent made a speech laudatory to the Mussolini government.” Efforts on the part of offecers and representatives at the meeting to cut short her remarks were unavialing.
When the text of the teacher’s remaks were brought to the at tention of Dr. Campbell yesterday, he said:
“The teacher is absolutely wrong! Give me names and facts of this alleged anti-Semitism or Fascism in our schools, and I’ll act against it at once,” he declared.
He said that the Italian government had given him a medal reognizing the work he had done in behalf of the American educational system. “My speech of accepteance of the medal and of thanks for it,” he said, “had nothing whatsoever to do with polities. I purposely avided reference to politics.
“I did compliment the Italian nation on its contributions to their own and the culture of the world, but I dealt not with current contributors but with celebrated italians throughout history.
“To say that my speech favored Mussolinio or his government in a political sense is absolutely wrong I spoke not for myself, for I did not receive the medal as a personal honor., rather I spoke for the school system which I represent, and I choose to regard the medal as a tribute to the entire organization rather than to my own efforts” he said.