The University of California higher-education system is considering adding a new admission requirement that will force high school students in the state to learn a controversial and anti-Semitic ethnic-studies curriculum if they want to be admitted into the university.

Nearly 2,000 UC students, family members, alumni, faculty, staff, donors and California taxpayers signed a petition on Monday urging UC’s Academic Council to reject the “ill-conceived and dangerous” proposal.

They argued that it has no educational merit or justification and that it is “the direct result of a small group of activist-educators who are determined to circumvent state law and manipulate the UC governance process to push a widely rejected and anti-Semitic curriculum for their own political and financial gain.”

The proposal “will unleash hatred and bigotry, especially anti-Semitism, into California’s public, charter and private schools,” they said.

All 10 UC campuses currently require freshmen to have taken a certain number of high school courses in seven subjects, including history, English, mathematics and science. The new proposal would add an eighth subject to that list: ethnic studies.

In order to fulfill the requirement, students must take one semester of a high school ethnic-studies course, the content of which is determined by the six-member UC Faculty Ethnic Studies Working Group who are proponents of the Liberated Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum Coalition (LESMC), explained the petitioners.

Leaders of LESMC drafted the initial ethnic-studies curriculum that was widely rejected by California Gov. Gavin Newsom, the State Board of Education, Jewish organizations and California’s Jewish Legislative Caucus for its anti-Semitic rhetoric and promotion of the BDS movement.

An updated curriculum without the anti-Semitic content was drafted by the State Board of Education and signed into legislation by Newsom in late 2021, making ethnic studies a California high school graduation requirement. However, the law permits California school districts to adopt whichever version of the curriculum they prefer, including LESMC’s overtly anti-Semitic one.

The criteria for the new UC admissions requirement will force every high school in the state, including California private and religious schools, to choose LESMC’s anti-Semitic curriculum.

The proposed ethnic-studies course criteria promote anti-Jewish and anti-Zionist ideologies, such as portraying Jews as “white, privileged oppressors” and Zionism as a “racist, colonialist system of oppression.”

The petitioners wrote: “Please understand that if you approve this ethnic-studies admission requirement with its Liberated course criteria, and students at every public, charter and private high school in the state are forced to take a ‘critical’ ethnic-studies course, you will be responsible for unleashing enormous bigotry and enmity, especially anti-Semitism, into California classrooms, threatening the safety and well-being of many students. We strongly urge you to reject this politically motivated, academically vacuous, and extremely harmful proposal.”

JNS

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