Henrico County Teacher Frames 10/7 Attack on Israel as “Hamas Resistance,” Insists School Newspaper Not Print Student Article about Impact on Community


Following the Washington Examiner’s reporting on a Henrico County Public Schools history teacher’s in-class rant that the United States was funding genocide and holocaust in Gaza, Parents Defending Education sent a records request to the district for the teacher’s emails between the dates of October 8, 2023 and January 31, 2024 containing the terms “Israel,” “Palestine,” “Gaza,” “genocide,” “settler,” “Hamas,” “Hezbollah,” “resistance,” “ceasefire,” “ethnic cleansing,” “holocaust,” and “war crime.”

On October 30, 2023, Catherine Massalha, a history teacher at Deep Run High School, complained to the chair of the school’s Parent Teacher Student Organization Diversity & Equity Committee about her emotional difficulty processing how the “Hamas resistance attacks on Oct 7” led to “the all-out genocide of the Gaza population,” asserting “I know I am not okay.”

Several weeks later on November 16, Massalha contacted a fellow Deep Run High School teacher to express concerns about an article that a student journalist was writing about the Israel-Palestine war, requesting to read the article before it was published, to which the teacher responded “of course!”

Several weeks later, when the teacher provided a draft of the article and praised the student’s work, Massalha instructed her “[d]o not run this article as it is or at all.”

Massalha then provided a link to resources on the Israel-Palestine conflict, and the teacher promised to keep her updated “when we get a new draft,” to which Massalha responded with an offer to “help her figure out a better way to go with the article.”

Several weeks later, Massalha provided resources on the war to a history teacher at Deep Run High School:

These resources include:

PDFs of these files can be found at the top of this post.