Robert Rossicone, teacher who ranted on social media to ‘let Gaza burn,’ booted from NYC school

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By Dan Sears

A social studies teacher at a Brooklyn school serving students from a large Palestinian community was booted from his classroom after ranting on social media “Let Gaza Burn’’ and “there are no innocents,’’ officials said.

Robert Rossicone was reassigned from The Fort Hamilton School/PS 104 following numerous complaints from pro-Palestinian activists and local lawmakers, the city Department of Education said.

“As Chancellor [David] Banks has made clear on numerous occasions, hate or bias of any kind has no place in our public schools. We are taking concrete steps to ensure our schools continue to be safe, welcoming, and respectful places for all our students and staff,” said Nathaniel Styer, a spokesman for the DOE and the chancellor.

Meanwhile, 200 students from nearby Fort Hamilton High School staged a walkout Thursday just before noon Thursday and marched to PS 104 to protest Rossicone’s incendiary remarks.

The police monitored the walkout, which authorities described as peaceful.

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“Look at these ANIMALS. And the people who support this, or call for a ceasefire, are dogs as well,” Rossicone said in one online exchange in response to a Hamas video that the Israel Defense Force provided CNN of the terrorists’ Oct. 7 attack on the Jewish state.

“Let Gaza Burn. There are no innocents if this is what is allowed to continue. Never again. By ANY means necessary,” he added on social media.


Robert Rossicone
A social studies teacher at a Brooklyn school serving students from a large Palestinian community was booted from his classroom after ranting on social media “Let Gaza Burn.”

Groups such as Stop Arab Hate and other Arab and pro-Palestinian activists immediately condemned Rossicone’s incendiary comments and complained to the DOE.

Stop Arab Hate said on X:  “Should Arab or Muslim children feel safe in his classroom?”

The PS 104 elementary-middle school and Fort Hamilton serve students from Bay Ridge, considered home to the largest Palestinian-American and Arabic population in the state. 


Robert Rossicone
Robert Rossicone was reassigned from The Fort Hamilton School/PS 104 following numerous complaints from pro-Palestinian activists and local lawmakers, the city Department of Education said. Facebook

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Local lawmakers — Councilman Justin Brannan and state Sen. Andrew Gounardes — who represent the Bay Ridge community, also denounced Rossicone’s comments.

“In New York’s largest Palestinian community, a teacher publicly demonized Palestinians, called for Gaza to burn, and labeled those calling for a ceasefire (like me) dogs. However you feel about the conflict, these words are destructive and deeply harmful especially coming from a teacher,” Brannan said.

“Hate does not belong here, but Palestinians in Bay Ridge do. `They’ are part of the `we’ that shares this community. No war or conflict abroad will ever change that. Anti-Palestinian bigotry will not be tolerated here. Antisemitism will not be tolerated here. Hate has no home here. Period. The end. There is room for all of us, disagreements and all, and I will never stop fighting to keep it that way.”

Rossicone, 47, had no immediate comment.

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