Henry Bens, a church pastor and teacher at Mt. Eden High School in Hayward, California, is accused of assigning antisemitic conspiracy leaflets to his 10th grade English students.
“He is on leave pending the outcome of the investigation,” Hayward Unified School District spokesperson Lauren McDermott wrote to The Jewish News of Northern California.
Leaflet printed and distributed contained antisemitic tropes
Bens is accused of distributing a 42-page documents which claimed to have exposed Jewish corruption and world domination.
The leaflet was published by the New Christian Crusade Church and had subtitled “Satanic Power which Promotes and Directs Chaos in Order to Lay Low All Civilization in Preparation for a Well-Outlined Plan for World Dictatorship.”
According to some reports, Bens asked his class to annotate and highlight sections which spoke of Jewish control and power structures.
Similar reports allege that the teacher used Nazi salutes and that Bens had said that he was trying to “remove the blindfold” from his students.
On accounts under Bens' name, now made private, posts were made which would affiliate the teacher with the Black Hebrew Israelite Movement, according to The Jewish News of North California.
Ruchita Verna, an 18-year-old student, is responsible for organizing the collective action against Bens. The Jewish News reported that Verna had said, “it’s a wonderful first step to investigate. However, students and staff are also concerned with the lack of accountability in our district.
“It shouldn’t take over two months and public outcry for intervention to take place. Students have already learned hate speech, and remediation is pending.”