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Oakland teachers organize “teach-in” on Palestine

The Palestinian flag being flown in Oakland.
Daniel Arauz
Flickr / Creative Commons
The Palestinian flag being flown in Oakland.

About 100 teachers across Oakland public schools participated in a “teach-in” Wednesday to educate students on Palestine and the current situation happening in Gaza.

Judy Greenspan is the chair of the substitute teachers caucus of the Oakland Education Association.

“This teach-in came out of a need that came really from the students as well as I believe from the community and from the teachers. We have many, many students who, at least in East Oakland, we have many students who are Arabic speaking, who are Muslim, who are very concerned about this.”

Greenspan said that their school, United for Success, a middle school in East Oakland, has been discussing the situation in Gaza for the past two months.

“Not all the students are decided about this. So, they're arguing with each other. They're actually becoming critical thinkers.”

The curriculum for the teach-in was put together by members of OEA and includes materials for students from pre-K through high school.

Included in Wednesday’s agenda was a webinar panel of teachers and community activists. Students were able to submit questions to the discussion virtually.

Superintendent of OUSD, Kyla Johnson-Trammel said in an email Monday that the teach-in is not authorized and that the curriculum doesn't align with the district's approved materials on the topic.

Superintendent Johnson-Trammel’s office did not immediately respond to request for comment.

Pat McMahon is a member of the 2024 KALW Audio Academy, an audio producer, sound artist, and radio enthusiast.