Editor’s Note: After reporting on the mandatory moment of silence held in solidarity with Hamas terrorists in Gaza at the publicly-funded Beacon School in Manhattan, readers have written to us with similar stories, as in a similar incident in Brooklyn’s Midwood High School. The following is yet another case of extremism being sanction in America’s public high schools. It was written by a member of the community in San Francisco. The writer is a parent of a student in the San Francisco School District.
On May 22, the San Francisco Board of Education voted 6-1 to approve a three-year memorandum of understanding (MOU) agreement with an extremist, anti-Semitic group to provide academic support and “workshops” in five high schools. The workshops will be open to all students, but are designed to provide special support to Arab-American and Arabic-speaking students.
The schools are Balboa, Galileo, Mission, International and Raoul Wallenberg High Schools.
Nobody objects to Arab students and families getting whatever help they need. Everyone supports that. What we don’t want, however, is those services delivered in the schools by a divisive, radical group that has a pathological, negative obsession with “Zionists,” which many of us understand to be code for hatred of Jews.
Two directors of the Arab Research and Organizing Center (AROC) group are among the most vocal and virulent anti-Israel activists in the whole Bay Area. They are so notorious, they have their own pages at Canary Mission, a watchdog website that “documents people and groups that promote hatred of Israel and Jews on North American college campuses.”
And now they will be able to promote it on high school campuses.
In fact, according to the MOU, these very two people will be the ones going to the schools. What’s more, they will have “more than limited contact” with students, which by SFUSD definition means they may be alone with students, unsupervised by staff.
Why are such divisive people being invited into our schools? Why is the school district partnering with people who spew this kind of hate?
If Ms. Kiswani had been vetted more properly, the district might have discovered that in July 2017 she was caught violently attacking an elderly Jewish woman who was peacefully protesting a mural in Oakland she felt glorifies terrorism.
Kiswani ripped a sign out of the woman’s hand, tore it up and strutted around with it.
Is this the kind of person who belongs in a classroom alone with students? Someone who would violently attack a peaceful protester?
AROC’s statements, tweets and re-tweets relentlessly demonize Israel and Israelis, and slander Zionism as “racism.” They falsely call anyone opposed to them “racists.” They express support for terrorists.
They talk about “de-Zionizing in their backyard,” which sounds like genocide. They talk about “hating you” if you are a Zionist.
How does this hate square with the district’s “restorative Justice” model or “core values?”
AROC’s words and actions repeatedly serve to create a hostile and unsafe environment for Jewish people and Jewish students.
One would have to be incredibly naive to believe these “service providers” will check their politics at the school door. They are activists. They live to spread their toxic message.
We know this because right after the MOU was approved, in a sickening sign of things to come, the AROC website boldly celebrated “victory over the racists and Zionists.”
This group is inappropriate for our schools. The Bay Area has a large Arab-American population. Why can’t the district seek out and hire Arabic-speaking service providers from the community who are not hateful and politically-compromised?
If you agree this MOU with AROC sounds to you like a bad idea, please let the District and the Board of Education know. Call: 415-241-6000
The board and superintendent can be emailed at:
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