The parents of a California girl with disabilities have sued the state’s education department, saying that their daughter is being forced to attend school without her son who has autism. The family argues that as many as 71 children at her charter school are not getting appropriate accommodations and services for students with special needs because they can’t afford private schools or tutoring.
On April 27, 2021, students receive in-person education at Hollywood High School in Los Angeles.
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A group of Jewish parents and teachers challenged the adoption of anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist curriculum materials in Los Angeles public schools in a federal lawsuit filed Thursday.
California Governor Gavin Newsom passed legislation last year mandating public-school pupils in the state to take an ethnic studies course in order to graduate from high school. “Students need to recognize themselves in their studies,” he continued, “and they must comprehend our country’s complete history if we want them to one day construct a more equal society.” However, the ethnic studies movement has never been about fairness or representation. Ethnic studies, a product of extreme left-wing agitation in the 1960s, was always about criticizing the United States, capitalism, and Zionism.
The Liberated Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum Consortium was founded by advocates, including teachers union leaders, public-school teachers, and other ideologues, with the goal of influencing ethnic studies education in the state. The consortium, which distributes educational materials taken straight from extremist anti-Israel websites, opposes the study of all cultures. It claims that ethnic studies exclusively focuses on four groups: Native Americans, African-Americans, Chicanos/Latinos, and Asian-Americans/Pacific Islanders. Arabs from the Middle East are included in this category, but not Jews who have resided in the area for millennia.
The consortium’s materials, many of which have been taken down in recent months, are full of anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli rhetoric. They teach that Israel is a “colonialist” and “settler state” formed via “genocide,” “ethnic cleansing,” and “apartheid.” They misdefine Judaism, claiming that “Zionism is separate from Judaism” and that Zionism is a late-nineteenth-century construct rather than a Jewish religious doctrine.
Tell that to the millions of Jews who end their Passover Seders with “next year in Jerusalem,” or who break a glass to mourn Jerusalem’s destruction at every Jewish wedding, or who pray each day facing Jerusalem—or whose bible, prayer book, and calendar have been filled with the yearning for the return of the Jewish people to sovereignty in the land of Israel for thousands of years.
The consortium’s materials characterize Zionism as a “nationalist colonial ideology” that seeks the “expansion of the Jewish state into historic Palestine by any means necessary,” and declare Israel and the United States to be “white settler states,” despite the fact that Israel’s Jewish population is more than half “people of color”—including people with ancestors from Africa and India, as well as more than three million Israelis descended from Jews who have lived in the Middle East since before the Babylonian
California law mandates that publicly financed educational materials be made available to the public so that parents and taxpayers may learn about the schools they use and pay for. The consortium, on the other hand, urges instructors to disregard the requirement. By invitation only, classes teaching instructors on the curriculum are held. The consortium tells friendly instructors to “go unnoticed” and to “close their doors” before presenting the “liberatory curriculum,” which includes criticism of Jewish ideas and the Jewish state, so that parents are unaware of what is going on.
The action has two goals: removing teaching materials that criticize the plaintiffs’ deeply held religious views, and making all ethnic-studies materials in Los Angeles public schools publicly available. The parents and teachers we represent want to know what is truly being taught in public schools using taxpayer money, as well as an end to the use of anti-Semitic teaching materials. Instructors and parents of Jewish children have the right to work in a public school where government-paid teachers do not reject their nation, label their people as genocidal murderers, or insult their religious beliefs.
If the Liberated Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum Consortium succeeds in California, it will very certainly be implemented elsewhere. Israel and Jews are only the first of the left’s perceived ideological foes to be publicly chastised. Other opponents—and their denunciations—are sure to follow if proponents of the curriculum are not stopped.
Ms. Marcus is the Deborah Project’s legal director and the primary attorney in the case of Concerned Jewish Parents and Teachers of Los Angeles v. Liberated Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum Consortium. Mr. Fried is the head of the Deborah Project’s board of directors and a professor at Harvard Law School.
Review and Prognosis: Three school board members are under recall by voters for prioritizing social justice causes above restoring classrooms. for The Wall Street Journal/Bloomberg News/Constanza Hevia H. Mark Kelly’s composite
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The print issue of the May 13, 2022, was published.