An official from a national English teachers’ group released a controversial statement urging educators to teach students about freeing Palestine.
The statement was release by a committee chair ahead of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Annual Convention, urging educators to promote pro-Palestine views.
“As ELA teachers, we have power to elevate and humanize Palestinian narratives for students,” part of the statement reads. “This is good for all students in our ELA classrooms.”
She also urged teachers to help students “combat dehumanization” by engaging in “critical media literacy” through “investigative methods” and “problematizing narratives.”
Germán is also the co-founder of #DisruptTexts, an “anti-racist/anti-bais” education group.
Her committee says it stands for the right to “self-determination and justice for Palestinians.”
“We stand against genocide. We recognize that until Palestine is free, no one is free,” it continued.
Before each of her sessions at last week’s NCTE Convention, Germán said she planned to read an “integrated land acknowledgement,” which complared the plight of indigenous people to the violence in Israel and Gaza.
She also urged attendees of the convention to ask vendors about books about Palestine and ask panelists how their presentations could help teachers and students to “build skills for humanity.”
After backlash, NCTE leaders distances the organization from what it called the committee’s one-sided statement.
“This week NCTE’s Committee Against Racism and Bias in the Teaching of English released a statement regarding the war in Israel and Palestine. The statement, as read, openly supports one side of the conflict and was unauthorized by NCTE leadership.”
NCTE said Germán’s statement wasn’t published by the organization or its leadership team, and it was unaware of the statement prior to publication.
“As a leadership team, we deeply respect the varied opinions of our members. Intellectual freedom is critical to our organization, our members, and the students we serve,” NCTE concluded.