Father sues private school in California over alleged antisemitism

The plaintiff claims that his daughter was expelled from the Brentwood School after he complained about the new discriminatory curriculum introduced without parental consent.

Jerome Eisenberg is suing the Brentwood School on seven counts, including violation of the Unruh Civil Rights Act and breach of contract, reports The Jerusalem Post. He claims that his daughter was expelled from the California-based private school after he raised concerns about the new “discriminatory practices” introduced after the school collected the nearly $50,000 tuition from parents in 2020.

The complaint, submitted to the Superior Court of the State of California, claims that Eisenberg enrolled his daughter, who is identified as J.E., at the Brentwood School to provide her with an education based on the Western values, however, the changed its curriculum from one typical of a classical education to a solely race-based program. The new curriculum ran contrary to Brentwood’s enrollment agreement, which contained a non-discrimination clause, stating that the school “does not discriminate on the basis of any of these factors [race, color, national or ethnic origin or ancestry, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, or sexual orientation] in the administration of its education or admissions policies or its financial support, athletics, or other programs.”

Nevertheless, Eisenberg contends that, following a racial audit, Brentwood developed and implemented a discriminatory curriculum without parental consent that included studying a chart that accused white students of being racist simply due to the color of their skin. Teachers also supposedly publicly humiliated students if they did not adhere to certain political beliefs.

Michael Riera, head of the Brentwood School, responded to Eisenberg’s concerns by explaining that teachers know better than parents what students should learn. Riera also established affinity groups at the school for “almost every imaginable race and identity [that] existed at Brentwood during this time,” with a Jewish group being the notable exception. When Eisenberg and other parents attempted to form a Jewish group, he claims that they were “stonewalled” despite meeting the necessary requirements.

According to the complaint, in an act of “intentional discrimination,” Riera did not allow the Jewish group to choose its own leaders but, contrary to other affinity groups, personally selected candidates in order to exercise control over the group.

Eisenberg grew frustrated with the discriminatory policies of the school and purportedly asked that Brentwood put an end to its racially discriminatory behavior and return to its racially neutral ways that were promised in the enrollment agreement.

In response, Riera threatened to expel J.E. if Eisenberg would not silence himself. Although Eisenberg cooperated in order to protect his daughter’s future, the complaint claims that Riera still revoked the offer for J.E. to attend Brentwood the following year.

The father’s lawyers argue that “[the] Defendants took these actions as retaliation for Mr. Eisenberg speaking out against Defendants’ discriminatory conduct and policies.”