Cambridge Public Schools sixth-grade science teacher attacks “white parents” and accuses district of choosing “white supremacy” for acknowledging victims in Israel; multiple teachers attack Israel in emails


Parents Defending Education submitted a public records request to Cambridge Public Schools seeking emails from the superintendent and School Committee members during the first two weeks after Hamas’ terrorist attack against Israel on October 7, 2023. PDE received numerous concerning emails and statements back from the district.

On October 9, Superintendent Victoria Greer sent a statement to the community explaining that she wanted to “take a moment to acknowledge the conflict that has unfolded between Israel and Palestine.” She continued to state that “our thoughts and hearts are with the Israeli and Palestinian people.” The principal of Cambridge Rindge and Latin School within the district also sent out a statement. There is no mention of or condemnation of Hamas in either communication.

In one email that PDE received dated October 20, a sixth-grade science teacher described herself as a “white Jewish educator” who appeared to attack a previous message from the district for being too friendly toward Israel. She appeared to attack other Jewish educators and parents for being concerned: “I have been on the Jewish ERG email list, and therefore privy to the messages other educators and parents have sent to your office. In your email yesterday, you used precisely the language demanded by people there.”

She accused Israel of committing “genocide” and said that Israelis were “white colonists.” She then proceeded to attack “white parents.” She stated:

Your email ignored this entire picture of life for brown, Muslim Palestinians, and in doing so, told your employees, students, and the people of Cambridge that when a group of highly educated, white parents tells you to abandon your values of racial justice and human dignity for all, you will do so. You have told us that white lives matter and all lives matter, rather than naming the brown lives that matter. There are acts of violence being committed against Israelis that are also deeply upsetting, but there is a 75 year history of violence towards Palestinians that is ignored by the west and is being perpetuated here.

She then told the superintendent and district administrators that they “chose white supremacy over human rights” and that the “current crisis is clearly a humanitarian one caused by white nationalist rhetoric.” She then added: “I grieve for all who have lost their lives in this racist occupation- Jews, Muslims, brown, white – may their memories be a blessing.”

This teacher also currently serves as the supervisor for a Pokémon club for sixth-grade students.

Another email that PDE received dated October 11 was from the district’s director of communications. She stated: “I know we are in a very difficult place and that we need to be more explicit in denouncing Hamas in our follow up communication. I just wanted to share this tweet, which I believe articulates well the struggle in finding the right words.” She then shared a tweet from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez that attacked Israel by stating “collective punishment is a war crime” and “so are blockades to food and water.”

PDE additionally received an email dated October 13 from a “math coach” within the district who accused Israel of “genocide.” She also attacked a statement from the district while explaining the “Palestinian plight has also been a huge part of my upbringing.” She then accused Israel of “settler colonialism” by stating:

I want to take this as an opportunity to not only discuss this unfair perspective but to educate leadership. What is happening in Palestine and Israel is not a conflict, or religious clash, but rather settler colonialism and an occupation by the Israeli state. Most of the international world with the exclusion of the U.S has condemned Israel for illegal occupation of Palestinian land.

This staff member then accused Israel of “100 years of displacement and ethnic cleansing” and called Israel an “apartheid state.” She ends the email by stating: “This is literal genocide.”

In an email that PDE received dated October 13, a history teacher shared a quote that Israel retaliating against the terrorist attack “violates international laws.” This teacher then asked for a new message to be sent to the community that declares “the district’s concern for ALL innocent lives – Palestinian, Israeli, international – and that anti-Muslim and anti-Arab threats are also of concern to CPSD staff and families.” This teacher also has an email signature that promotes teaching students material to “engage students’ thinking about power and equity and the disruption of oppression.”

In another email that PDE received from October 13, an English teacher accused Israel of “occupation” and attacked the superintendent for appearing to support Israel in a previous message. This teacher stated:

This email is not asking to ignore the suffering of Israelis and it in no way condones violence perpetrated on civilians. However, your email has explicitly presented a one-sided perspective showing solidarity and concern only for Israel with no acknowledgment of the ongoing occupation of Palestine. This is an unbalanced and biased stance that can negatively impact the numerous students within the district who identify as Muslim, Palestinian, Arab, or Jewish.

Another teacher also sent an almost identical email to the superintendent on October 13. This teacher was described as an “OSS Instructional Aide.”

On October 16, an organization called the Muslim Community of Cambridge Public Schools (MCCPS) emailed a letter to the superintendent accusing Israel of “genocide.” The group then states that it chose to place students in the district due to it being a “progressive school system [that] takes equity and inclusion so seriously.” The organization explains:

We choose CPSD schools for our children because this progressive school system takes equity and inclusion so seriously. We have been heartened by the many great initiatives CPSD has made in making Muslim children feel like welcome members of the community. However, the Oct. 12 message effectively erased us, invalidated our pain, and excluded our voice.

The organization then states: “We humbly request you send a message that speaks out against lslamophobia, affirms the needs of Arab and Muslim students during these difficult times, and acknowledges the suffering of Palestinians in Gaza, who are currently facing what has been deemed war crimes and a precursor to genocide by international human rights organizations.”