School District 219, serving Lincolnwood, Skokie, Morton Grove and Niles is offering “Teaching Palestine,” a biased, misleading, anti-Israel course to their staff at Niles North and West High Schools. The course objectives are to “teach about Palestine and the Palestine liberation struggle..against the current political context of Israeli occupation of Palestine.” The staff will be instructed in strategies for responding to “parents/staff/others who object to anti-Zionist curriculum,” leaving no space for diverse opinions.
The indoctrination is not limited to faculty as the course will enable faculty to “Generate grade appropriate and critical curriculum for teaching Palestine. Make curriculum connections between Palestine and issues affecting our students, such as: state/police violence, the struggle for racial justice in the U.S., settler colonialism in Palestine and the U.S., access to education for historically marginalized youth.” Thus any group with perceived grievances can direct those negative associations to Israel and eventually generalize to Jews.
The description admits that the course content stems from the “resources and knowledge of the US Palestine Community Network and Jewish Voice for Peace,” both of which support and provide platforms for convicted terrorists, demonize Israel, view the independence of Israel as a catastrophe and work for the destruction of the state of Israel. Despite its Jewish moniker, JVP has been described as a “radical anti-Israel activist group that advocates for a complete economic, cultural and academic boycott of the state of Israel. JVP rejects the view that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a tragic dispute over land which has been perpetuated by a cycle of violence, fear, and distrust on both sides, in favor of the belief that Israeli policies and actions are motivated by deeply rooted Jewish racial chauvinism and religious supremacism.”
Both groups reject any historical Jewish presence in Israel and believe that Israel and its U.S. supporters are racist colonial oppressors. They claim they are standing against “the enemies of freedom, justice, and equality” and vow to resist –“by any and all other means necessary.”
StandWithUs has confirmed that faculty will receive lane advancement credit for taking the class, which means that the cost of the hate education will be passed onto taxpayers.
StandWithUs CEO Roz Rothstein told JNS, “School districts should encourage critical thinking about the Arab-Israeli conflict, rather than promoting indoctrination like this course does. The Niles Township High School District 219 should replace Teaching Palestine with professional development that will offer genuine educational tools that encourage co-existence and allow student inquiry into the issue, rather than one-sided propaganda.”
We are shocked and offended that a course so blatantly biased in content, so devoid of academic integrity, and so opposed to civilized discourse is offered to our teachers to use in their professional development.
Contact the District 219 to express your concern:
firstname.lastname@example.org - Superintendent Dr Steven Isoye
email@example.com- Dr. La Wanna Wells, Director of Equity
firstname.lastname@example.org - Jim Szczepaniak, Director of Communication