Is there anti-Israel bias in your community’s school curriculum?

Document what’s being taught. Raise concerns with the school system. Take action today. Follow these steps:

1.  Acquire copies of classroom materials and assignments

  • Determine, if possible, where the teacher got the materials? (For example, from the Internet or a teacher workshop?)

  • Find out if the material is used in only one class section or in many class sections? 

  • Find out how long the material has been in use and for what specific years?

2.  Document details of the problem

 

  • Record all identifying information about the materials, including the complete title, the chapter and pages assigned, the edition and the publisher.

 

  • If the material was taken from the internet, record the URL and specify the section of the website used. 

 

  • If the teacher’s classroom presentation is a concern, obtain class notes from a student, if possible.

3.  Assess the materials for factual accuracy and bias

 

  • Are there outright factual errors in the materials?

 

  • Does the material offer an unbalanced presentation of perspectives? Are fringe or radical/extreme perspectives favored while mainstream voices are few or nonexistent? Are perspectives with little factual support presented as authoritative?

 

  • Is crucial information missing – historical events, facts, and context?

 

  • Are opinions and unsubstantiated statements treated as fact?

 CAMERA can assist in assessing bias and factual issues in curricular materials.

4.  Communicate with school officials and teachers

 

  • Approach teachers, department heads and other officials courteously. They may respond defensively when confronted with critical scrutiny. 

 

  • Prepare carefully for any meeting and always be as specific as possible.

 

  • School officials will often seek to reassure you that no problem exists. If you suspect a continuing problem, press on with your concerns.

A.  Your child is in the class

  • Schedule an appointment with the teacher.

  • If the teacher is evasive or unwilling to meet, try to meet with the principal.

  • If these initial discussions fail to achieve results, proceed to step 5.

B.  Your child is in the school, not in the class

  • Meet with the principal to discuss your concerns.

  • If you fail to get satisfaction proceed to step 5.

C.  You don’t have a child in the school

  • Meet with the school’s Social Studies or History Department head.

  • If you fail to get satisfaction, proceed to step 5.

5.  Raise your concerns with top school officials and school committee/board

 

  • Seek a meeting with the superintendent.

 

  • If the superintendent is unwilling or unable to address your concerns, or you feel school officials are antagonistic, your recourse is to contact members of the school committee or school board and to raise these issues in a private meeting or at scheduled public sessions. 

 

  • Try to find like-minded citizens willing to coalesce around an effort to give a communal voice to the bias concerns.

 

  • Reach out to organizations inside and outside your community interested in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the teaching of Islam or curricular issues. Jewish organizations are likely to be concerned about what students learn about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

6.  Publicize the issue in a letter to the editor and raise community awareness of the problem.

7.  If you encounter a lack of cooperation and a refusal to address concerns, including refusing access to classroom materials, consider filing a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) Request.

Please join in raising awareness of this urgent issue and help CAMERA promote accurate, academically sound information about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in America’s classrooms.