NEW REPORT: “How K-12 Students Are Being Used to ‘Globalize the Intifada'”

Antisemitic, anti-Israel and anti-American Ethnic Studies curricula are training kids to be the next generation of revolutionaries.


Proponents of a K-12 “Ethnic Studies” curriculum that was rejected in California for being anti-Israel, antisemitic, anti-white and anti-American have found a way to push their agenda under the radar into schools across America.

Members of the original committee charged with writing a curriculum for California’s now-mandated ethnic studies curriculum found private funding and are currently conducting teacher training programs in multiple schools nationwide.

A deep dive into these training programs shows that their intent is not merely to “educate” these young, impressionable students but to create from them the next generation of anti-Israel, anti-American activists.

THE PROCESS

When the California State Board of Education decided to include an ethnic studies program for the state’s K-12 public school students in 2018, it formed a committee to write the curriculum.

However, the committee came up with classes that were so antisemitic, anti-Israel, anti-white and anti-American that, by 2020, the board of education vetoed the ugly content.

The state eventually approved a modified version of the curriculum in March 2021 but also allowed each school district to draft its own curriculum if it desired.

However, a number of the original committee members were undeterred. 

These activists formed the Liberated Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum Consortium (LES) to promote their original antisemitic content, first in California and then across the United States.

These organizations have found ways to push their antisemitic, anti-American agenda into America’s K-12 schools.

TEACH PALESTINE PROJECT

One particularly industrious member of the LES leadership team is Samia Shoman, a member of the now-disbanded advisory committee originally appointed by California’s Board of Education. Shoman, along with a partner – political activist and teacher Jody Sokolower – developed the Teach Palestine Project.

Shoman and Sokolower obtained sponsorship for the project from the Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA), an anti-Israel non-profit based in Berkeley, California.

Teach Palestine is one of the primary content providers for LES. The project bills itself as “a resource by and for K-12 teachers and teacher educators.”

In actuality, it promotes a toolkit for political activism that serves as a gateway to prime the next generation of anti-Israel, anti-American protesters and promotes pro-terror content.

VIEW INFOGRAPIC ON TEACH PALESTINE PROJECT

TEACH PALESTINE CURRICULUM INCLUDES:

A course titled: “An Introduction to the Middle East for Third Graders” that accuses Israel of “ethnic cleansing” and promotes the right of return (a Palestinian talking point discredited as a means to eliminate Israel).

A course titled: “Stolen Land” that teaches the “subject of separation walls in Palestine and along the US-Mexico border” and encourages students to engage in anti-American and anti-Israel political activism, including participation in the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement.

Resources for Learning More About the War on Gaza, which include the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USPCR)’s Together We Rise: Palestine as a Model of Resistance, Noura Erakat’s article in Jadaliyya justifying the October 7 massacre, Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) and anti-Israel activist Mohammed El-Kurd. Other resources include the anti-Israel books P is for Palestine by Golbarg Bassi and They Called Me A Lioness: A Palestinian Girl’s Fight For Freedom by Ahed Tamimi.

Lesson Outline utilizing Osama Bin Laden’s 2004 speeches

An article promoting PFLP terrorist Ghassan Kanafani

Shoman and Sokolower also provide hands-on “teach-ins” to train teachers in their ideology.

COALITION FOR LIBERATED ETHNIC STUDIES

In the fall of 2021, building on the success of LES in California, Sokolower founded a nationwide organization called Coalition for Liberated Ethnic Studies (CLES). The organization’s purpose is “drawing together Ethnic Studies K-12 teachers, teacher educators, youth and community activists from across the country to organize, support each other’s local struggles, and build power.”

In November 2023, LES and CLES co-produced a Critical Media Literacy Rooted in Ethnic Studies Curriculum Toolkit for teachers and students, which includes links to lesson plans and additional resources for teachers.
The toolkit includes resources such as the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USPCR) “action toolkits,” which link to campaigns calling for BDS and an arms boycott against Israel, and a Stop Gaza Genocide toolkit, which calls on activists to join a “Summer of Resistance.”

Both LES and CLES host antisemitic lesson plans and guides on how to present the Hamas massacre of Israeli civilians on October 7 and the events that followed. Israel is demonized as being a purveyor of “ethnic cleansing” and “genocide.”

Both groups clearly intend to mold young minds into this insidious mindset and create political activists like those on the streets of America today.

The LES curriculum begins by endorsing political “resistance,” stating, “System changes occur when people unite, mobilize and organize in coordinated resistance to disrupt and dismantle inequitable systems.”
As of December 2023, 18 school districts and the Minnesota Department of Education have been documented as having contracts with LES/CLES or having worked with members of CLES.

TEACHING WHILE MUSLIM

LES and CLES also promote materials from another anti-Israel, antisemitic curriculum called Teaching While Muslim, an organization co-founded by Nagla Bedir and Luma Hasan, both of whom are connected to the New Jersey public school system. Bedir, who reportedly has ties to the Islamist organization Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), is currently a high school social studies teacher in Perth Amboy, New Jersey. Hasan, a former high school teacher, is a “curriculum specialist” in the New Jersey Attorney General’s office with the Division on Civil Rights. Teaching While Muslim is also affiliated with the New Jersey branch of the antisemitic, anti-Israel organization American Muslims for Palestine (AMP).

VIEW INFOGRAPHIK ON TEACHING WHILE MUSLIM

Teaching While Muslim offers workshops, resources, and lesson plans and promotes the BDS movement. One course, for example, is comprised of art lessons for kindergarteners. Another is a class on Zionism that says students should “develop an awareness of its colonial nature.”

The site offers a “Nakba” curriculum that “delivers the history and ongoing realities of the Nakba and its impact on Palestinian lives.” (Nakba, Arabic for “catastrophe,” is a term used by anti-Zionists for the founding of the State of Israel.)

CRAFTING ACTIVISTS

Teaching While Muslim also promotes the curriculum suggested by Teach Palestine. It proposes a Teach Palestine Week and offers a calendar with activities and videos for middle and high school teachers that promote BDS and anti-Israel protests led by high school students, including going to college campuses to support the encampments.

The site also displays a “Free Palestine” banner at the top and offers a guide for schools and teachers “supporting student activists” in walkouts and boycotts.

In January 2024, the superintendent of schools in Holmdel, New Jersey, apologized to staff and community for directing teachers during Muslim Heritage Month to the Teaching While Muslim website, which he termed “biased and antisemitic.”

SUCCESS TO DATE

As of December 2023, 18 school districts and the Minnesota Department of Education have been documented as having contracts with LES or CLES or having worked with members of CLES.

Through teacher training events, anti-Israel organizations and K-12 “teacher-activists,” LES and CLES have promoted anti-Israel lesson plans and model curricula to schools in PhiladelphiaNew YorkNew Jersey and Oakland and through the Portland teachers’ union website, as well.

PHILADELPHIA

On January 13, 2024, the Racial Justice Organizing Committee (RJOC) held a “Teach-In for Palestine” for over two dozen K-12 teachers and education professionals. Philadelphia public school teachers Hannah Gann and Keziah Ridgeway, a member of RJOC, helped run the event, which was promoted by the virulently anti-Israel Philly Palestine Coalition.

VIEW HANNAH GAIN PILLY PUBLIC SCHOOL TEACHER INFOGRAPHIC

RJOC is comprised of teachers, activists and community members from Philadelphia. The group provides “Educator Lesson Plans” and lists as a resource the Teach Palestine Project. It also demands that Pennsylvania implement an ethnic studies curriculum in the K-12 grades.

In November 2023, a month after the massacre by Hamas of 1,200 Israelis, the group issued a solidarity statement with “Palestine” for “racial justice and collective liberation,” blaming the conflict on white supremacy and colonialism.

Also in Philadelphia, a group of public school teachers created anti-Israel group Philly Educators for Palestine (PEFP). The group proceeded to issue six demands to the Philly school district, including condemning the “ongoing genocide against the Palestinian people.” It also accused Israel of conducting a campaign of “land theft.”

By May 2024, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights had launched an investigation into the Philly school district after parents filed a complaint alleging antisemitism in Philly’s public schools.

NEW YORK AND NEW JERSEY

On February 3, 2024, NYC Educators for Palestine and Teaching While Muslim conducted a “curriculum share” for close to 80 educators from New York City and New Jersey. The educators were schooled in how to teach about the “Israeli occupation” and “genocide” and how to develop lessons that incorporate “the cause.”

VIEW RABAB ABDULHADI SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR INFOGRAPHIC

A featured speaker of the event was Rabab Abdulhadi, a professor at San Francisco State University and rabid antisemite. Abdulhadi, a co-founder of the anti-Israel Institute for the Critical Study of Zionism, is infamously known for trying to bring PFLP terrorist Leila Khaled to speak to her students.

The “curriculum share” also discussed how to describe Hamas and its followers who invaded Israel on October 7 and massacred, raped, tortured and kidnapped Israelis.

Educators were told to “explore what the definition of terrorism is” and ask students, “Who gets to decide the definition? Who gets to apply it and use it?”

The Instagram post promoting the event promised: “Every teacher who attends the curriculum share WILL LEAVE WITH A COLLECTION OF LESSONS they can use with their students!!!”

“Classroom-ready resources” were provided by The Progressive Classroom Project, which says it draws content from Al Jazeera. Promotional materials also advertised that teachers would learn how to “get around censorship.”

MINNESOTA ETHNIC STUDIES CURRICULUM

In January 2024, the Minnesota Department of Education formally adopted an antisemitic, anti-Israel ethnic studies curriculum slated to go into effect in March 2026.

Through social studies classes, Minnesota public schools will teach students about the Palestinian fight for “liberation” against the oppressive “colonizer” Israel, according to documents obtained by a think tank in the state.

Critics have pointed out that Minnesota’s Department of Education “added this highly politicized ‘fifth strand’ — unauthorized by statute — to the four content areas named in law: history, government and citizenship, geography and economics.”

According to non-public documents obtained by the Center of the American Experiment, a Minnesota-based think tank, Minnesota’s Department of Education “ignored its own paid expert reviewers, and knowingly crafted academic standards that violate multiple statutory requirements.”

According to The Washington Free Beacon, “Three out of four [of the paid] reviewers criticized the standards, with one of the reviewers reportedly describing them as ‘among the worst in the nation.’ The reviewers also found that the standards were imbued with ‘pervasive leftward bias,’ divisive ideology and were unteachable in the classroom.”

Minnesota’s ethnic studies curriculum stresses student political activism – namely, “disrupting,” “dismantling,” “transforming” and “resisting” American institutions, including police departments and the justice system.

Unsurprisingly, the organizations responsible for writing the curriculum are members of CLES. They include Education for Liberation Minnesota and the Minnesota Ethnic Studies Coalition, established in 2019 to bring “liberated” ethnic studies to Minnesota.
Both organizations campaigned to rewrite social studies standards and successfully pushed the ethnic studies requirement through the Minnesota legislature. Embedded in the state’s 2023 omnibus legislation, Minnesota now mandates that every academic subject and grade may be infused with ethnic studies ideology.

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA

On December 6, 2023, K-12 teachers across the Oakland Unified School District conducted a “From Oakland to Gaza” teach-in during the school day, using resources from Teach Palestine and Teaching While Muslim.

The teach-in allegedly instructed elementary school students that a “free Palestine means the annihilation of Jews.”

The teach-in was comprised of a collection of curricular resources, a virtual panel of Palestine activists and guest speakers from the Oakland community invited to speak in person in classrooms.

Included in the lesson plans was an activity for children that instructed them to “draw the Zionist bully.” Resources included the book, “P Is for Palestine: A Palestine Alphabet Book,” which includes an entry that reads: “I is for Intifada.”

Following the teach-in, at least 30 Jewish families transferred their children out of the school district. In January 2024, a complaint was filed against the district, alleging “that the District discriminated against students on the basis of national origin (shared Jewish ancestry) when District teachers held a teach-in on Palestine during the school day…”

PORTLAND, OREGON

In May 2024, the Portland Association of Teachers (PAT), the largest union of educators in the state of Oregon, published on their website a manual titled: “Palestine Teaching Resources for Educators.”

The manual was a collection of lessons, reading lists, toolkits, videos, films, mental health resources and more for K-12 educators in Portland public schools.

The resource was compiled by Oregon Educators for Palestine and offered as a companion piece to the manual “Know Your Rights! Teaching & Organizing for Palestine within Portland Public Schools,” which PAT created with Oregon Educators for Palestine.

Both documents included resources linked to the Teach Palestine and Teaching While Muslim websites. PAT had previously worked with Teach Palestine. In October 2021, the Teach Palestine founders gave a session in an October 2021 event co-sponsored by PAT, the Northwest Teaching for Social Justice Conference titled, “Rethinking Our Classrooms, Organizing for Better Schools.”

On May 28, 2024, PAT co-hosted a “Know Your Rights” advocacy workshop. Oregon Live reported that “organizers encouraged teachers to display Palestinian flags in their classrooms, wear T-shirts emblazoned with a pro-Palestinian message highly offensive to Jewish communities and lead lessons on Gaza that critics say are misleading and antisemitic.”

On June 4, 2024, amid heavy criticism, PAT pulled the lesson plans from their website. The association originally left the manual, “Know Your Rights! Teaching & Organizing for Palestine within Portland Public Schools,” on the site, but later “temporarily removed” it “with a plan to repost an “updated guide” at a later date.

HOW CALIFORNIA REFORMED ITS ANTISEMITIC ETHNIC STUDIES PROGRAM

In 2020, after much public outcry, the first California Ethnic Studies model curriculum was rejected for being anti-white, anti-American and anti-Israel. The state proceeded to approve a non-mandatory modified version of the curriculum in March 2021.

The 2021 revised version included a discussion on antisemitism and two lessons on Jewish Americans. It does not mention the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement or the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The 2021 curriculum also includes lessons on Sikh-, Armenian-, Arab- and Jewish-American communities. Unlike the original version, the revised version’s glossary does not include terms like “resistance” and “colonialism.”

The modified curriculum is also called “constructive” ethnic studies versus “liberated” ethnic studies. In addition, school districts are free to use the state’s curriculum, draft their own or hire consultants to draft a curriculum for them.

According to a Feb. 15, 2024 New York Times article, Liz Sanders, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Education, “noted that while local school districts have control over their curriculums, state guidelines are clear: The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a recommended topic for discussion in world history courses, but not in ethnic studies.”
By the 2025-26 academic year, all California public schools are required to teach at least one semester of ethnic studies in grades 9-12. Beginning with the class of 2030, California high school students will be required to pass an ethnic studies class to graduate.

NATIONWIDE ETHNIC STUDIES CURRICULA REQUIREMENT

As of 2024, ethnic studies courses have been authorized or required in seven states: Indiana, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, Vermont, Washington, Virginia and the District of Columbia.

EDITORS NOTE: This Canary Mission Report is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

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