A school devoting itself to “cultural and racial diversity” offends its hosts as it teaches first graders about conflict in the Middle East.
Like a scab located on a part of the body that is prone to contact with the outside world, any pause in the hostilities in the Middle East always seems destined to be ripped away before it can lead to permanent healing. Looking to disrupt the expanding state of detente between Israel and its neighbors, Hamas stuck a knife directly into the healing wound with its barbaric terrorist attack of October 7th. Israel’s right-wing government responded with a sledgehammer, exacting revenge not only on the terrorists but on innocent civilians.
With our country’s political systems badly broken, this conflict in the Middle East has become yet another battle in the endless culture war. We only seem to be able to see issues in terms of black and white refusing to see shades of grey. Those supporting a cease-fire are deemed to be allies of terrorists with opposition to the policies of the Israeli government too quickly classified as anti-Semitic. In response, the deep harm done to innocent Israelis is too often minimized and care is not always taken to ensure that the historic persecution of the Jewish people is recognized. While people yell past each other, thousands of families from both sides are suffering as they bury their dead.
Despite the complexity of this situation, teachers at Citizens of the World Charter School East Valley decided that it would be appropriate to tackle it in a first-grade classroom. Grown adults do not have the Emotional Intelligence to discuss the subject in a productive way, but somehow these teachers thought that six-year-olds could handle it. Predictably, the attempt blew up in their faces, with the teachers accused of weaponizing “their role as educators to indoctrinate the youngest of children with a radical and hateful agenda.”