Statement from Chancellor Banks on the War in Israel and Gaza

October 11, 2023

Dear Colleagues,

I write with a heavy heart after this weekend’s terror attacks against Israeli civilians—including children. I unequivocally condemn these horrific acts of violence, and I want to offer my deepest condolences and steadfast support to those in our New York City Public Schools (NYCPS) community impacted by the killings and kidnappings.

As the leader of our nation’s largest school system, I want to be abundantly clear that hate of any kind has no home in our school community. As adults, it is our responsibility to teach our children tolerance and inclusion, and to fight hate, violence, and injustice in all its forms.

The brutality and trauma wrought by Hamas upon innocent people—especially our youngest members of society—is devastating. All children in the region, and the world, deserve to live in peace, with security and dignity.

We know this tragedy will be top-of-mind for many of our students, and to that end, we are providing resources to our schools to facilitate discussions about the conflict and to support our students in being compassionate global citizens. We are also reinforcing our Chancellor’s Regulations and policies related to political discourse and action, which ensure that every student, staff member, and community stakeholder feels safe and respected in our schools.

Please know that I am thinking of all the students, staff, and families in our city who have lost loved ones or are worried for their safety. I will continue to pray for peace in the region.


Chancellor David C. Banks