Anti-semitic presentation in schools deserves response

BRATTLEBORO — It has come to our attention that recently there was a presentation shown at local elementary schools in the Brattleboro area and at Brattleboro Area Middle School, whose subject matter was the condition and plight of Palestinians in Gaza.

It seems this program was introduced to third graders and other young students who are much too young to fully grasp, understand, or fathom the complexity and complications of the delicate, multifaceted situation in the Middle East.

Not only was this program one-sided, presenting a skewed and biased perspective, but apparently it was unauthorized by at least one school's principal. Organizers also overlooked informing two Jewish teachers about the program.

When these teachers found out about the program and did attend, they witnessed and were appalled by what they saw children being exposed to: a slanted, anti-Semitic presentation of Jews as “bad people,” while skirting a balanced view about Palestinians.

Adults can barely manage or comprehend it themselves. We don't need to add confusing, distorted facts and misinformation to our children.

We here at BAJC hope and trust that appropriate actions will be taken toward those who organized this program and that it will not occur again. If teachers and school administrators want to educate students about injustices around the world, that is fine, and they should do so.

But they should do it responsibly and respectfully, without inflammatory rhetoric or divisive images. Nothing is gained - nor can anything ever be solved - with that approach.

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