Newton students miss classes so teachers can answer 16th APT record request

From today’s Boston Globe:

Thirteen history teachers in the Newton Public Schools are expected to miss some class time this week in order to gather documents for a public records request filed by an advocacy organization that has accused the district of anti-Israel bias in its high-school world history curriculum.

 

The Watertown nonprofit Americans for Peace and Tolerance has submitted 16 public records requests to the school system so far in 2018.

also from the article…

In December 2017, the Jewish Community Relations Council and Massachusetts Board of Rabbis issued a statement calling Jacobs and his organization “purveyors of hatred and division” after they
Fuller: I categorically reject the allegation that Newton Public Schools’ curriculum is anti-Semitic

Fuller: I categorically reject the allegation that Newton Public Schools’ curriculum is anti-Semitic

Newton Mayor Ruthanne Fuller released this through her email newsletter today
 
Last Tuesday evening the School Committee held a public hearing as a result of a formal petition alleging anti-Semitism in the Newton Public School history curriculum.
 
It was a powerful meeting, and I’ve been reflecting on what I heard from students, teachers and members of our community.
 
Here are my thoughts

Video: Public strongly disputes charges of anti-Semitic bias in Newton school curriculum

Here’s the video from the Nov. 27, 2018 Newton School Committee public hearing on a citizen’s petition about Newton Schools’ curriculum, followed by the committee’s deliberations and votes on the petitions.

Newton School Committee Curriculum Public Hearing November 27, 2018 from NewTV on Vimeo.

A statement released by the committee after the hearing can be found here.

School Committee: Attacks are having a ‘chilling effect’ on teachers, school atmosphere

A statement released today from the Newton School Committee ….

Dear Newton Families,

As a result of a formal petition alleging anti-Semitism in the Newton Public School history curriculum, the School Committee was required to hold a public hearing on the petitioners’ requests. On Tuesday evening, approximately 400 students, faculty, staff, and community members attended the public hearing at Newton South.

We fully recognize that anti-Semitism, as well as bigotry and outright hate and intolerance against Muslim, Immigrant, Black and Brown and, LGBTQ members has become more pronounced in this country in the past few years. It is deeply distressing and we should all be working together to address it. However, we categorically rejected that Newton Public Schools’ curriculum is anti-Semitic or that there is an anti-Semitic bias inherent in our schools.

At the hearing, students, parents, teachers and other community members overwhelmingly

Overwhelming support for schools & teachers on view at public hearing

UPDATES: Boston Globe story here.

WCVB Channel 5 story here.

NBC 10 story here

NECN  story here.

Students, alumni, teachers, parents, clergy, city councilors and many others testified in opposition to citizen’s petition  promoted by Americans for Peace and Tolerance, a group that has long-complained of an anti-Israeli bias in the Newton Public Schools, at a packed public hearing at Newton South High School

Over 400 Newton North grads sign letter supporting ‘our teachers and our school system’

In advance of a public hearing Tuesday night (Nov. 27, 6:30 p.m. at Newton South) more than 300 recent Newton North High School graduates have signed a letter in support of “our teachers and our school system in their mission to craft a curriculum that promotes critical thinking.”

The alumni wrote the letter in response to an on-going campaign by “Americans for Peace and Tolerance (APT), a group whose members have been targeting our school system for years and have recently begun targeting individual teachers” over discredited claims of an anti-Israel bias in Newton Public Schools.

Tuesday’s hearing is the result of a citizens petition and is expected to draw

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