A concerned community member reached out to Parents Defending Education regarding an email that the superintendent of Revere Public Schools sent to staff on October 9, 2023. The email specifically mentions the “people being targeted and killed because of race, religion…” and was in response to “the investigation currently underway regarding racist and anti-Semitic graffiti found at Revere High School on Friday.” The superintendent then provided resources for staff in the email that included a guide “for having difficult conversations around race” and “having difficult conversations during election 2020.” However, the most controversial resource appears to be a link from the organization Learning for Justice titled “Resources for Learning about Israel and Palestine.” Learning for Justice has since taken the original link down.
In the link provided by the superintendent, Learning for Justice appears to attack Israel:
The long history surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is deep and complicated. But there are things we know to be true. We know this conflict connects to imperialism and other oppressive systems that we encourage educators to name and address with students. We know that people are dying, fighting for their lives and engaging in liberation movements to be heard and treated with dignity—and that they’ve been doing so for decades.
One resource that Learning for Justice provides from the superintendent’s link is the organization Middle East Policy Council. A resource provided by the Middle East Policy Council on the page is titled “Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.” This resource is explicitly biased against Israel: “My central argument is that, contrary to the standard mythology, especially in Israel, Israeli terrorism has been significantly worse than that of the Palestinians.” The resource then states:
In particular, the truth should make it clear that Israel has neither the moral legitimacy nor the national interest to refuse to negotiate with Palestinian organizations that have employed terrorism, particularly Hamas, without whose participation there is no chance for a compromise settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Learning for Justice is an organization that has pushed for its “Social Justice Standards” to be adopted in schools throughout the country. The document for these standards includes goals to achieve for students. One goal is that “students will develop language and historical and cultural knowledge that affirm and accurately describe their membership in multiple identity groups.” Another goal appears to outright state that the purpose of the “Social Justice Standards” is to turn students into political activists: “Students will make principled decisions about when and how to take a stand against bias and injustice in their everyday lives and will do so despite negative peer or group pressure.”