Assemblyman Schnall Raises Alarm Over Surge in Bias Incidents Across New Jersey; Urges Enhanced Security Measures

Assemblyman Avi Schnall (D-30) today expressed deep concern over the alarming increase in bias incidents across New Jersey as revealed in Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin’s newly released report. Analyzing bias incident statistics for 2021 and 2022, the report highlights a troubling trend of rising hate and bias, with 2022 marking the highest number of reported incidents in nearly three decades of record-keeping. Preliminary data for 2023 indicates that this upward trajectory has continued, with a 22% increase in reported incidents compared to the previous year.

Of particular concern to Assemblyman Schnall is the significant number of bias incidents recorded in his district, particularly Howell Township and Lakewood Township, the latter of which is a community with the largest Orthodox Jewish population in the state. In both 2021 and 2022, the Jewish community was the most frequently targeted religious group, reflecting a distressing and growing pattern of antisemitism.

“I am deeply dismayed by these findings,” said Assemblyman Schnall. “Every individual deserves to feel safe and respected in their community, free from discrimination and hate. The increase in antisemitic bias incidents and all forms of hate is unacceptable and underscores the urgent need for enhanced security measures in places of worship, schools, and other areas where vulnerable populations are most at risk of being targeted.”

As New Jersey enters the 2024-2025 budget season, Assemblyman Schnall said increased efforts are needed to advocate for security funding for schools and places of worship. He commended New Jersey for its commitment to school security, boasting the highest per-pupil funding allocation in the nation, and vowed to continue his efforts to ensure the safety and well-being of all residents.

“Investing in the safety of our communities must be a top priority,” Assemblyman Schnall affirmed. “I will work tirelessly to secure the resources needed to protect our schools, places of worship, and neighborhoods from hate and discrimination. Together, we can build a more inclusive and secure future for all New Jerseyans.”

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