A Hamas-friendly homework assignment....
This happened at a school in BC...it's an outrage...
Imagine sitting with your child, reviewing a homework assignment, entitled Violence Flares in the Middle East. Now imagine the shock upon finding that your child is being taught that Hamas isn’t a terrorist group as designated by the Canadian government, but merely a ‘militant Islamic group,’ with the term ‘militant’ being defined as aggressively supporting or defending a cause. Picture Hamas portrayed as being oppressed and outnumbered at the hands of the Israelis; cornered, victimized, and helpless, with little other option than to fight back for ‘their land.’
This is not a hypothetical case.
It is part of a lesson plan in the Richmond Bridge Elementary School. It is a public school, funded by taxpayers.
The historical background given to grade six pupils states that “Israel took over most of the land that had been set aside for the Palestinians” and that Arabs were outraged because “they didn’t want to leave their homes to make room for a new Jewish nation.”
The parents of one distraught Jewish pupil were brave enough to ask questions, in spite of their being recent immigrants from Russia and therefore having limited English language communication skills. (The family’s name is being withheld to protect their privacy.) When confronted by the parents, the teacher responded that the assignment was from curriculum material that she obtained online. The school principal, for his part, directed the parents to a website which is available to teachers only and pass coded. Needless to say, they couldn't open it.
The company behind that website, Victoria, BC–based LesPlan Educational Services Ltd, describes itself as “a Canadian-owned and operated company that has been providing teachers across the country with current events resources since 1990.” Its lesson material states that “many countries, including Israel, the United States and the European Union regard Hamas as a terrorist organization.” However, no explanation is given why a Canadian company does not mention that Canada also regards Hamas as a terrorist organization.
In the absence of help from either the school or from the Richmond School District, the pupil’s mother, Svetlana, approached The Jewish Tribune Western Edition.
The JTWE contacted both Richmond School District 38, as well as Richmond Bridge Elementary School. Despite assurances over several days that school officials would provide comment, neither the school board or the school had responded to our repeated calls by press time. As a result, we are unable to report how this material was approved for classroom use.