Parents Defending Education submitted a public records request to Fairfax County Public Schools seeking emails sent and received from the district’s board members regarding the Hamas terrorist attack against Israel. After the terrorist attack, most school board members except for Abrar Omeish showed support for Jewish students within the district and sent out statements of support. In an email sent to the board after the terrorist attack, an English teacher at Thomas Alva Edison High School within the district complained about the district’s lack of response after Israel retaliated. This teacher stated:
I remain appalled that since Israel’s disproportional and escalated retaliation, no further comments have been made to the community. As a Muslim resident, I feel disappointed in my elected officials and alienated from the community at large. As an FCPS teacher, I am left abandoned.
This teacher then accused Israel of “apartheid” and called the nation an “oppressor.” The teacher stated: “However, the Muslim community, the Palestinian community, and countless interfaith communities against the Palestinian apartheid see your silence as a conscious choice to side with the oppressor.” The teacher then stated: “I strongly urge this Board to provide the community with resources that actively seek to uplift, humanize, and legitimize the Palestinian experience while protecting Palestinian, Arab, and Muslim voices.”
Board member Laura Jane Cohen responded and said that she appreciated the teacher’s “advocacy on behalf of the atrocities against Palestinians.”
The school district charged PDE $1,540 for the request seeking about two weeks of emails from board members that were about Israel.