British Teachers Union Withdraws Palestinian Curriculum After Outcry
The British National Union of Teachers withdrew a new curriculum focusing on Palestinian children after critics charged it was unfairly biased and politicized the classroom.
The teachers union — which represents instructors in England, Wales, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man — said on Tuesday it was “prepared to consider any concerns about publications we have any involvement with.”
NUT developed the lesson plan, called “My Name is Saleh,” together with Christian charity Edukid, aiming to give “a voice to Palestinian children and the opportunity to share their experiences with pupils in the UK.”
By Wednesday, the group had removed a section from its website about the curriculum that had summarized the stories of two Palestinian children, who faced “military checkpoints”, “rubber bullets” and “tear gas.”
Responding to news of the withdrawal, Prof. Gerald Steinberg, president of Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor, reiterated his earlier demand that the U.K. Charities Commission suspend Edukid until the authorities carried out a thorough investigation of the curriculum and its development.
“Unless officials from Edukid and the NUT are held accountable, such immoral actions will be repeated,” he said. “Whether out of incompetence or malice of forethought, the story of Saleh Abu Shamisyeh, ‘a young Palestinian boy,’ highlights the role of propaganda that fuels incitement and violence.”
“The problem goes far beyond Edukid. For many years, the Charity Commission has failed to implement core legal and ethical principles to prevent abuses by anti-Israel groups,” said Steinberg.