High Tech High teachers sign “Educators for Palestinian Freedom” open letter; school appears to provide lesson to students that promotes BDS movement


Ninety-six staff members from the San Diego public charter school High Tech High signed an open letter called “Educators for Palestinian Freedom.” The letter is for teachers who consider themselves as “progressive educators who oppose racism and settler colonialism in all its forms.” The letter accuses Israel of “apartheid.” This letter calls for “highlighting Palestinian scholarship on Palestine in syllabi, course work, and in our scholarly and community collaborations” and “restoring the history of Palestine in the California Ethnic Studies Curriculum as originally intended by the California Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum Advisory Committee.”

Parents Defending Education submitted a public records request to the school seeking more information on anti-Israel sentiment occurring. One document that PDE received was a presentation titled “Israel & Palestine.” The presentation includes a video of a poem from activist Rafeef Ziadah. She accused Israel of “apartheid” in her poem and condemned a reporter who suggested to not teach “hatred” to children. The presentation appears to be a lesson provided to students.

One slide of the presentation asks: “Is there anything regular people can do? How will this be solved?” The presentation then appears to promote “a pro-Palestinian movement known as BDS (Boycott, Divestments, and Sanctions).” The BDS movement attempts to force companies into no longer doing business with Israel. The presentation also links to an article from Al Jazeera, which is funded by the government of Qatar.