According to the corporate media, hundreds of high schoolers are taking it upon themselves to walk out of school to protest Israel’s right to defend itself. In New York, San Francisco, Philadelphia, and more, the nation’s budding humanitarians are banding together with the hope of ushering in a new era of peace, the stories say. As is the case with so many stories surrounding Palestinian terrorism and Israel’s response, the prevailing narrative is wrong.
These walkouts are not the result of well-meaning teenagers choosing to take a stand. These protests are being conceived of and then planned and executed by radical left-wing groups using children as political props.
The largest of these was the “#schools4Palestine” walkout, which disrupted learning in an estimated 100 New York City public schools on Nov. 9. A coalition of far-left groups, including New York Collective of Radical Educators, NYC Educators for Palestine, Palestinian Youth Movement, and Teachers Unite, authored a “toolkit” — a handbook aimed mainly at adults to show them how to turn students into pro-Hamas activists. The document purports to be for “students, teachers, and parents,” but its content is less relevant for students than for teachers who seek to influence them. Another far-left group in the San Francisco Bay Area created a toolkit of its own, full of the same hateful lies about Israel.
Though the New York City toolkit’s writers claimed, “High school students are organizing walkouts,” they don’t seem to believe their own words. The document, created by left-wing adults, provides a ready-made plan for students, with poster templates, instructions for identifying chant leaders, and even a sample schedule. The students are being organized by adults.
They were showing up, at the behest of their teachers, to support a cause probably very few of them understand. The toolkit contained a sample script for teachers to encourage their students to participate, and it notes that teachers may “show support for their students … canceling tests or major paper deadlines or making the lesson more flexible to accommodate students who walk out.” Teachers who followed this advice placed their own radical politics ahead of learning and committed a major violation of professional ethics. They abused their positions of responsibility for the sake of their own agenda.
The toolkit put words in the mouths of children with a recommended chants list, including “Say it loud, say it clear, we don’t want Zionists here.” When they took to the streets, some of the students chanted, “F-ck the Jews,” thus flaunting their hatred and abandoning the façade that this protest was ever about peace.
Students Aren’t Being Taught the Truth
Students are being taught that it is good and noble to walk out in support of Hamas. What they are not being taught is that there was a ceasefire in place on Oct. 6, and it did not stop Hamas from slaughtering Israelis and taking hostages. They’re not teaching students that so many Palestinians live in poverty, not because of Israel, but because Hamas would rather spend money on rockets and tunnels and their own plush hideaways in Qatar than on basic infrastructure. They’re not teaching that supporting the Palestinian people means opposing Hamas, an enemy of peace and prosperity and the reason that Gazans are suffering today.
Some meager accountability for this indoctrination has come from parents who are angered about what their children are being taught. A principal in Montgomery County, Maryland, emailed the entire school community to “make them aware” of a walkout, noting that all absences due to the protest would be excused. Backlash was so swift and severe that the principal has since resigned.
These protests do not happen in a vacuum. In many schools, Jewish students are seeing their peers cheerlead for terrorism with their teachers’ encouragement. No student should be forced to face this kind of hostility and harassment. No parent should be forced to send his or her child to a school where this sort of teacher-sponsored bullying is allowed or encouraged.
As Hamas tightens its death grip on Gaza, pro-Hamas protesters will desperately attempt to appear thoughtful and mainstream. But not unlike the group these protesters are supporting, they’re experts at using children as pawns.