(May 27, 2021 / JNS) A staffer with the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) is current on paid leave after reportedly sending out an anti-Israel manual to local educators.
According to a May 22 report in the Toronto Sun, Javier DaVila, a member of the board’s “gender-based violence unit,” distributed a 51-page anti-Israel manual to teachers who requested it. The booklet discusses “Palestine” and “colonization” by Israel, includes suggested reading materials and promotes BDS.
“The resources in question were not reviewed or approved by the TDSB. Staff, including the Board’s Employee Services Dept, are currently investigating this matter,” Ryan Bird, manager, corporate and social-media relations at the Toronto school district, told JNS. “During this time, the staff member will be on home assignment. We are also in the process of removing this staff member’s current and previous group mailings/newsletters from TDSB email inboxes.”
CEO of B’nai Brith Canada Michael Mostyn is asking the district to go even further. In a Twitter post, he said: “The TDSB must unequivocally apologize to the Jewish community and dismiss Mr. DaVila from employment. A full investigation should also ensure [that] no one who distributes anti-Semitic propaganda like this should work for a school board in Canada.”
Canada isn’t the only place dealing with school educators who promote anti-Israel sentiment.
A New York City principal, Amanda Bueno, came under fire last week for sending her staff an email that said, “Yesterday was the ‘Day of Action in Solidarity’ with the Palestinian uprising and general strike.” She then urged teachers at MS 136 to make “a public commitment to Palestinian Liberation” and call “your government officials to place sanctions on Israel.”
According to the New York Post, Bueno sent out a letter late last week in which she apologized for using her school account to “strongly communicate” her personal views, adding that it wasn’t her intention to “inflame tensions on this sensitive issue.”
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