12 Dec

At the last listening session, I asked the district and board to step up and issue a public statement denouncing anti-Semitism and views that promote violence and harassment. This was in light of the controversy surrounding public remarks and speeches by a well-known district educator. I also asked the district to announce measures to protect the safety of Jewish students and staff. Sadly, your silence speaks volumes.

But these issues are not going away, in fact they are escalating. 

·        We know this because of the controversy in Edina schools over the use of dog whistle chants for anti-Israel violence, and more recently, the calls to “globalize the intifada” now common on campuses.

·        We know this because of the unprompted public statement by the Minneapolis teacher’s union that tried to blame Israel itself for the terrorist attacks by Hamas.

·        We know this because three Ivy League presidents sat in front of Congress and were unable to comprehend how actual calls for Jewish genocide might violate their student codes of conduct. 

So, I ask, what will it take for the district to get out in front of these issues and stop ignoring what is happening on college and high school campuses across the nation?  Let’s be clear, we have bad actors in our own community that are fanning the flames of hate. Now is the time for the school board to show leadership by condemning anti-Semitic views, reinforcing the code of conduct to prohibit dog whistle phrases and prioritizing student safety. Unfortunately, this is not the only critical issue being ignored by the district and board:

·        Enforcement of neutrality in the classroom per Policy 606.1 is being ignored.

·        Selection of curriculum and books is ignoring community engagement, diversity of opinion, the needs of different faiths and cultures, as well as the age and maturity of students as required by Policy 606.·        Parents rights are being disrespected and ignored with student gender surveys.

·        The handling of data practice requests and book reviews are not following district policies or state law.

Parents expect the board to step up by creating or enhancing policies to address these issues.  It’s time to kick cultural agendas out of our schools so that our students have a safe, neutral learning environment where they can excel.

* The email will not be published on the website.