The leadership of the Passaic County Education Association in Passaic County, New Jersey, sent an email to the union’s members encouraging them to attend the “Educators for Palestine Summer Series” hosted by the Democratic Socialists of America BDS and Palestine Solidarity Working Group. The email was obtained by the parent activist organization Parents Defending Education.
“Our Educators for Palestine Summer Series aims to create a space for education workers to come together with experts in the field of teaching Palestine to learn, discuss, and equip ourselves with the knowledge and practices needed to bring the truth about Palestine into our classrooms,” the series’s description reads.
The series features four sessions on Saturdays in July and will feature topics such as “Inclusion and Representation of Arab & Muslim Students,” “Palestine: The History of a People,” “Teaching Palestine With Humanity,” and “Navigating Pitfalls and Backlash.”
The session on the history of the Palestinian people, scheduled for July 16, promises to cover “the history of [the Palestinian] people and their heroic resistance to Zionism.”
The final seminar, scheduled for July 30, will train teachers on how to deal with backlash.
“We need to be prepared for the all too frequent backlash we can face from various sources and directions,” the event’s description says. “We will hear from several educators who have navigated this difficult part of the crucial work of teaching about Palestine, as well as from organizations with the expertise and resources educators will find helpful should they encounter opposition.”
In a statement to the Washington Examiner, Parents Defending Education Director of Outreach Erika Sanzi said the incident highlighted how “teachers’ unions are deeply involved in the ideological take-over of our public school classrooms.”
“Sadly, anti-semitic curriculum presented as ‘the truth’ is on an ascendancy from coast to coast,” Sanzi said. “Parents, teachers and community members must be vigilant and stand up to this the moment they see it.”