AUSTIN (KXAN) — Amid the Israel-Hamas war, the Texas Education Agency shared optional resources with Texas school systems “to help students talk about war and violence and better understand the conflict in Israel,” the state agency said Friday.
The TEA said the four optional resources can be used by parents and educators to support lessons and conversations with students about the conflict. “Parents and educators should determine which resources, if any, best fit the needs of their families and community,” the state agency said.
They include “How to Talk to Kids About Violence, Crime, and War” from Common Sense Media; “What Is U.S. Policy on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict?” for grades 9-12 from the Council on Foreign Relations; “Support for Classroom Discussion on the Hamas-Israel War” for grades 6-12 from the Institute for Curriculum Services; and “10 Ways to Have Conscientious Conversations on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict” for grades 6-12 from the Anti-Defamation League.
In a news release Friday, Gov. Greg Abbott said he encouraged schools to use these lessons “to awareness and understanding of the Israel-Hamas war and root causes of conflict in the region.”
In response, advocacy nonprofit Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, said Monday that it is urging teachers to ignore these recommendations and “instead to listen to accurate history about the root causes of the ongoing conflict- the occupation of Palestine,” William White, the director of CAIR-Houston, said in a release.
The nonprofit group said parents should meet with school leaders to discuss how the curriculum can “be harmful to Palestinian, Arab, and Muslim students and present a one-sided narrative to students,” a release said.
KXAN reached out to several Central Texas school districts to see if they plan to use these TEA resources. As of publishing, no district has confirmed if they plan to use them.