Don’t bring POLITICS into the CLASSROOM!

Back in the summer we at ZNet published a fine piece by a very intelligent teacher named Jason Kunin on how to talk about Israel/Palestine issues to unionists. In Canada, activists in unions are trying to push a boycott/divestment/sanctions (BDS) campaign to force Israel to stop its ongoing ethnic cleansing and genocidal policies against the Palestinians. Goes without saying that this is an uphill battle. This is, after all, the same jurisdiction where a children’s book that talked about children in Israel and Palestine was banned.

Uphill, indeed. Kunin tried to pass a motion in his union on BDS. It seems that Kunin’s school board took it upon themselves to suspend him and investigate his teaching. They have suspended him, the preliminary reports say, for bringing politics into the classroom. The irony of this seems to have escaped them.

The motion is copied below. If I hear more on how to support this case I will publish it here.

BIRT D-12 STBU bring the following motion to AMPA 2007:

BIRT that AMPA 2007 express its concern about the humanitarian crisis in the Occupied Palestinian Territories by taking the following actions:

a) Requesting the PE to endorse the recommendations of Amnesty International, in its report “Israel & the Occupied Territories: Road to Nowhere” (December 1, 2006)

b) Requesting that the Provincial Executive write a letter to the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority, copied to the Prime Minister of Canada as well as to the leaders of the opposition stating OSSTF’s endorsement of the recommendations of Amnesty International, in its report “Israel & the Occupied Territories: Road to Nowhere” (December 1, 2006)

c) request the provincial HRC to educate OSSTF members to the present crisis and to develop moral and other supports for students, teachers, unions, or other organizations in the Occupied Territories and Israel as may be appropriate.

d) Develop ways OSSTF can demonstrate its support of the growing international call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions against Israel.

Moved: Jason Kunin
Seconded: Hayssam Hulays

Author: Justin Podur

Ecology. Environmental Science. Political Science. Anti-imperialism. Political fiction. Teach at York U's FES. Author. Writer at ZNet, TeleSUR, AlterNet, Ricochet, and the Independent Media Institute.