Campus Reform | Johns Hopkins teaching assistant allegedly admits to lowering 'zionist' students' grades

Johns Hopkins teaching assistant allegedly admits to lowering 'zionist' students' grades

A chemistry department TA at Johns Hopkins University tweeted that she was considering lowering grades for "zionist" students.

One pro-Israel organization wrote a letter to the university, demanding that it investigate the incident.

A pro-Israel group alleges that a teaching assistant in the Johns Hopkins University chemistry department "posted a series of racist, antisemitic statements on a public Twitter account," including one tweet that threatened to penalize "Zionist students" by giving them a lower grade.


Rasha Anayah, the teaching assistant, allegedly tweeted “ethical dilemma: if you have to grade a zionist students [sic] exam, do you still give them all their points even though they support your ethnic cleansing? like idk.”


Anayah posted a survey along with the tweet, in which 77 percent of the respondents replied, “Free Palestine! Fail them.” Commenting on the result, Anayah allegedly tweeted “like I agree but also too many of you want me to get fired.”


After seeing the tweets, the pro-Israel organization StandWithUs wrote a letter to Johns Hopkins University, telling them that the situation requires "immediate attention."


"We urge you to investigate this matter and, if any violations of university policy are discovered, use all means at your disposal to repair any past or potential harm to students," the letter stated. "At a minimum, we ask for immediate and transparent oversight of [Redacted’s] grading this fall semester to ensure that no student suffers any harm based on [Redacted’s] expressed hatred and biases."


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The letter also stated that Johns Hopkins University should investigate if Anayah has been discriminatory in grading previous assignments.


Anayah’s Twitter account has since been deleted.


The teaching assistant told WBFF-TV that she always has acted with "the utmost integrity and fairness" when it comes to grading students.


When contacted, Neta Stahl, Director of The Stulman Program in Jewish Studies, pointed Campus Reform to a letter to the editor published in the school's student newspaper.

 

In the letter, the faculty stated they were “deeply troubled by the reports that a Hopkins teaching assistant spoke of penalizing students in her class on the basis of their identity and background – even for displaying an image of a street sign in Tel Aviv.” 


The faculty members also declared that they “understand the protean character of antisemitism and the ease with which people can convince themselves and others of the collective guilt of targeted groups and the ‘need’ to ‘punish’ them."


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“Some of us are particularly appalled by reports that said individual presented her hostility as motivated by anti-racist commitment, given that targeting whole categories of people for hostility is a classical feature of racist bigotry,” the letter added. 


Campus Reform contacted Rasha Anaya and various faculty members of the chemistry department but did not receive a response in time for publication. 


The school's newspaper quoted Provost Sunil Kumar and interim Dean John Toscano as saying, “we are aware of an incident of alleged antisemitism and potential abuse of authority in the discharge of academic responsibilities on our campus. Any link between grading and bias runs counter to our values and policies, and we are taking all necessary steps to ensure that does not occur.”


Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @CWTremo