The State of California is currently reviewing a model Ethnic Studies curriculum, which openly promotes hateful boycotts against Israel and omits antisemitism as a form of bigotry. Disturbingly, this agenda was inserted into an educational effort meant to teach students about marginalized communities. Moreover, despite its stated purpose, the proposed curriculum includes no lessons about Jews as a sizeable ethnic minority and frequent target of racism. THE TIME FOR YOU TO SPEAK UP IS NOW. California residents have until August 15th to voice concerns, so please submit respectful comments before the deadline and share this alert with other people in California. We especially encourage parents, high school students, and educators to comment and share how this model curriculum will impact them personally.
To submit feedback about the curriculum, follow these steps:
Download our input form here, and type your name in the "Your Name and Affiliation" Column.
Add your own personal comments if you would like to do so (see our analysis below for inspiration).
Attack the officials working on this or any other community covered in the curriculum, including but not limited to Arabs, Muslims, or Palestinians.
Keep your comments respectful and focused on the issues outlined below.
Emphasize the value of inclusion and how BDS promotes hate and division.
If you are a parent, student, or educator, share how the current draft of the curriculum will personally impact you.
Examples of bias in the proposed curriculum:
1. A glossary for the curriculum includes a definition of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) Movement against Israel. It claims the purpose of BDS is to, "establish freedom for Palestinians living under apartheid conditions". It then parrots more BDS talking points while offering no critical perspectives about this campaign of hate, which seeks to end Israel's existence.
2. The sample lesson plans for the curriculum:
Encourage teachers to highlight BDS and a pro-BDS group called Direct Action for Palestine, but no voices critical of their perspectives (p. 234).
Promote a false equivalence between Israel's efforts to stop terrorists from entering communities to murder innocent people, and U.S. policies on the border with Mexico (p. 234).
Use unclear language that implies "Israel-Palestine" as a whole is an Arab country (p. 237).
Frame the Palestinian narrative of the 1948 War as fact, with no alternative perspectives (p. 242).
Encourage teachers to use an anti-Israel poem which insinuates Jews control the media and use it to manipulate the public - a common antisemitic slur (p. 256, 264-269).
3. The Introduction of the proposed curriculum states that, "The implementation of Ethnic Studies presents an opportunity for teachers to... enable students to develop a deep appreciation for cultural diversity and inclusion, and aids in the eradication of bigotry, hate, and racism." Despite this stated goal, the curriculum does not feature a single lesson about the Jewish community, mentioning Jews only in passing. With antisemitism rising and ignorance about the Jewish people still a major problem in our society, the exclusion of Jews from this curriculum is deeply disappointing.