response to censorship of teaching about Gaza (Hillsdale High in San Mateo)
Dear Superintendent Miller,
Our group, California Scholars for Academic Freedom (approximately 100 educators of conscience teaching in higher education in California) has been informed of the cancellation of an educational event on the humanitarian crisis in Gaza that was supposed to be presented this evening at Hillsdale High School by a teacher at the high school. As we understand it, the event has been advertised all week on flyers and in the school bulletin, and has been promoted by social science teachers at the school.
We are appalled that the school would cancel an event that has such relevance to world affairs. Are you trying to deprive these Hillsdale students of hearing about the crisis in Gaza? As we are sure you would agree, it is intellectually stimulating for students to attend presentations beyond what is required for their courses. It is especially useful if the event they attend is current and relevant in the world today. Today’s students are woefully uninformed about international affairs. As the United Nations, the Red Cross, and CARE have attested, the humanitarian crisis in Gaza is an important issue right now and the canceled event would have added greatly to both students’ understanding of Gaza and their sense of belonging to the global community.
Since some of these same Hillsdale students will end up in our college and university classrooms, we have a vested interest in learning the reasons for this cancellation. In addition to our professional and personal motivations as teachers of this next generation, we are also strong defenders of Academic Freedom. Many of our members are members of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), which would certainly condemn the kind of censorship evident in the cancellation of the Hillsdale High School event on Gaza.
We would appreciate a response as to the reasons for this cancellation. We strongly recommend that you reschedule the event soon.
Thank you for your time and consideration,
California Scholars for Academic Freedom
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