In Oakland, a group of teachers are preparing to host a “Palestine Teach-In,” a lesson plan designed to highlight Palestinian narratives amidst the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas.
However, this educational endeavor has sparked a fiery debate, reminiscent of the age-old adage, “the pen is mightier than the sword.”
Jacob, a teacher who prefers to keep his last name under wraps, is one of the educators spearheading this initiative. He explains that the curriculum, sourced from a variety of materials and tailored for different age groups, aims to shed light on the Palestinian experience.
One such resource is a YouTube alphabet book titled ‘P is for Palestine,’ which introduces the term ‘intifada’ to young learners. Jacob defends this choice, stating that the book presents the term, historically associated with Palestinian uprisings, in an age-appropriate manner.
But not everyone is on board with this educational voyage. The Oakland Unified School District has voiced its opposition, arguing that educators should foster critical thinking rather than impart personal beliefs. The district’s statement reads, “It is the job of educators to teach students how to think critically, not to teach them what to think. We are reminding all educators of their responsibility to adhere to principles of education, and to keep their personal beliefs out of the classroom.”
The pushback doesn’t stop at the district level. Local Jewish organizations, including the Jewish Community Relations Council, have also expressed concerns. The council’s CEO, Tyler Gregory, argues that the curriculum could incite violence against Jews and Israelis, and has no place in schools. He warns that some Jewish families may keep their children home on the day of the teach-in, fearing it could further divide the community.
Read more at ABC7 News.