CAFA’s statement on: Academic freedom and peaceful protest on university grounds

Academic freedom and peaceful protest on university grounds

CAFA Statement No. 1/2024
21 May 2024

In recent months, universities in the United States, Canada, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, and Peru, among other countries in the Americas, have been the sites of widespread, intense protests, including occupation of university buildings and/or establishment of encampments on campus, over the war in Gaza. Media outlets and human rights organizations have reported cases of mass illegal/arbitrary detention, the disproportionate use of force by security officers, and arbitrary restrictions on and retaliation for student assembly and expression (including expulsions and suspensions). Further, reports of religious and ethnic violence, harassment against members of the higher-education community, including antisemitic, anti-Muslim, and anti-Arab incidents raise grave concerns.

The Coalition for Academic Freedom in the Americas (CAFA) documents and monitors restrictions on and attacks against academic freedom and university autonomy, and their impact on democracy, justice, and rule of law. CAFA calls on higher-education authorities and public officials to take available measures to ensure a safe space for the free and open exchange of ideas on campus. This includes the respect and protection, within the limits established by law, of the rights to academic freedom, freedom of expression, association, peaceful assembly, the right to protest and personal security on campus.

As recognized in the Inter-American Principles on Academic Freedom and University Autonomy, members of higher-education community, including students, benefit from “(…) the right to express oneself, to assemble and demonstrate peacefully in relation to the topics being researched or debated within that community in any space (…)”. In democratic societies, universities are centers to discuss ideas and situations of public interest, critically and respectfully. This principle must be respected by all stakeholders.

As stated in the Principles for Implementing the Right to Academic Freedom, members of the higher-education community “(…) have the right to engage in expression and discourse with persons and groups inside and outside the academic, research and teaching sector”. Consistent with this, the Canadian Association of University Teachers has stated that restrictions “(…) on freedom of expression and protest can only be justified with clear, objective and demonstrable evidence of danger to persons, serious violations of the law, and major disruptions to the essential operations of a university or college”.

International human rights law recognizes that the right to protest may include a temporary disturbance and inconvenience to daily life. As the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has determined, the “(…) occupation of buildings, whether public or private, constitute a legitimate form of protest. Any restriction on these demonstrations must be exceptional, necessary, and proportional”.

Higher-education authorities must therefore refrain from taking measures which inappropriately limit peaceful expression on campus or threaten to sanction students or other members of the higher-education community for exercising their rights to free expression, assembly, and academic freedom. On the contrary, higher-education institutions should take all available measures to foster, protect, and model healthy, public debate.

The heated debates surrounding the war in Gaza demand a renewed commitment, by all stakeholders, to the values at the heart of a healthy university. We call on the states and on higher-education authorities to protect and promote academic freedom and institutional autonomy across the Americas, including taking available measures to ensure the rights of free expression and assembly on campus, and in all events, by refraining from engaging in undue restrictions on these rights. We likewise call on all stakeholders – including higher education authorities, public officials, students, educators, and members of the public – to ensure that campuses are spaces of learning, respect, and open debate, free from violence and intimidation, hate speech, harassment, and discrimination, including antisemitism, anti-Muslim and anti-Arab hate.

JFN-UBC Statement of Solidarity with the UBC Encampment for Gaza

JFN-UBC statement on UBC encampment for Gaza


JFN-UBC Statement of Solidarity with the UBC Encampment for Gaza

We write as the UBC chapter of the Jewish Faculty Network to strongly support the rights of the UBC students in the encampment to peacefully protest in solidarity with Palestine. As Jews, we are appalled by the death, destruction and displacement that Israel has brought upon the people of Gaza, including the killing of more than 30,000 people, nearly half of whom were children, and the destruction of the healthcare system. As academics, we are shocked by the obliteration of all universities in Gaza.

We reject the misleading notion that these protests, or other protests against Israel, are inherently antisemitic. Neither are displays of Palestinian cultural and political identity, including keffiyehs and Palestinian flags. The conflation of anti-Zionism with antisemitism is a dangerous and bad-faith tactic that has been used to repress critics of Israel, including many Jewish people like ourselves.

A number of Jewish faculty (including some wearing obvious symbols of Jewishness) visited the UBC encampment and found the mood welcoming and friendly. Many other Jewish students and community members are actively involved. The encampment has made it very clear in their community guidelines and external communications that antisemitism and all forms of discrimination are strictly prohibited.

Calls for police force to be used against students, in order to protect against an unsubstantiated threat to Jewish students should be treated with the very greatest skepticism and concern. Having seen the unnecessarily violent response to peaceful encampments across North America, we are extremely concerned for the safety of students at UBC.

We hope that those who feel uncomfortable about current protests will consider learning more about the conditions the students are protesting, and about the broader histories of non-violent protest, in Palestine and Israel, as well as within the Palestinian and Jewish diasporas. We especially encourage the reading and open discussion of literature and journalism by Palestinian writers.

As people who have dedicated our lives to supporting students in their pursuit of higher education and in their development as human beings, our students are constantly teaching and challenging us. We certainly do not have to agree with everything our students say or all of their demands. However, it is our responsibility as educators, and the responsibility of

universities like UBC, to ensure all learners can exercise their right to free expression, and make their own, difficult decisions about how to fulfill the responsibilities we all have to current and future generations, without the threat of violence, arrest, or suspension.

Our students are inheriting a world in crisis, but they remind us every day that another world is possible. We stand with the UBC students who are trying to bring that world into existence in many different ways, including through protest. We implore the university to rethink its approach to police presence on campus and commit to upholding students’ rights.

UBC Apartheid Investment database

The UBC Social Justice Centre is an AMS UBC Resource Group dedicated to research, outreach, & action on social justice issues. The SJC has recently reported an analysis of UBC investments in a document titled UBC Apartheid Investment Data Base. Thanks to the SJC for providing this revealing analysis of university investments in the war machine that current waging war in Gaza. The following is a reproduction of the report as presented @ubcwarinvestments

In 2022, The University of British Columbia invested a total of CAD$66,550, 168 in firms that are active agents in 1) the illegal settlement enterprise in the occupied West Bank, and/or 2) the ongoing genocide of Palestinians in Gaza.

The following tables, ordered by industry, display information about these companies. This includes their name, the specific role they play in maintaining the occupation and/or participating in the genocide, and the amount of UBC endowment money they receive.

The data presented in this report were obtained from the 2022 UBC Investment Management Trust’s (IMANT) “Holdings Disclosure Report.” To determine which of these complicit companies were invested in by UBC, the report was cross-referenced with a 2020 United Nations Human Rights Council database of business enterprises that build, maintain, and legitimize illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank. The list also includes firms widely understood to be complicit in violations of Palestinian human rights-the numerous weapons manufacturing companies that UBC invests in, which supply arms to the Israeli military, are included in this latter section.

As UBC lists the endowment holdings in percentages, the dollar amount was estimated by using overall value of the endowment, although the dates of the holdings disclosure report do not fully match up with the reporting dates for the endowment fund value. The value of the endowment fund was reported to be $2.09 billion on March 31st, 2023 while the holdings disclosure was reported on December 31st, 2022. It should still be a decent estimate though assuming each fund grew somewhat evenly over the three months. For comparison, the value of the fund on March 31st, 2022 was $2.06 billion.

Download database: UBC apartheid investments

Gaza and the Growing Attack on Social Justice Teaching

Gaza and the Growing Attack on Social Justice Teaching

By the editors of Rethinking Schools

Illustrator: Lincoln Agnew

Twenty-two million public school students, almost half of all children going to public schools, now live in states that have enacted restrictions on anti-racist teaching.

As a result, a 2023 RAND Corporation survey found that nearly two-thirds of teachers in the United States decided to limit discussions about political and social issues in their classrooms. The combination of repressive laws, takeovers of school boards, and firing or disciplining anti-racist and LGBTQ-inclusive educators has been a successful strategy for the right — causing teachers across the country to leave the profession and encouraging many who have stayed to avoid “controversial” topics.

Israel’s war on Gaza and the simultaneous crackdown on dissent has given another boost to the forces of repression. As this editorial went to print, Israel was starving Gazans by blocking food and aid while preparing a ground invasion of Rafah, Gaza’s southernmost city, previously labeled a “safe zone” to which the Israeli military had pushed more than 1.5 million Palestinians. The death toll in Gaza reached more than 31,000 — more than 13,000 of whom are children. Indeed, in November, when the death toll was much lower, the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres warned Gaza was becoming “a graveyard for children.” Other U.N. officials — another demographic Israel’s bombardment has killed at alarming rates — have described conditions as “the worst ever” humanitarian crisis, a “living nightmare,” which is “absolutely unprecedented and staggering.”

At the beginning of March, almost all schools in Gaza, more than 70 percent of which “have sustained damage,” were being used as shelters for the 1.7 million internally displaced people. (For more on the attack on children and education, see ”Israel’s War on Gaza Is Also a War on History, Education, and Children”) The healthcare system was near total collapse with only 12 out of 36 hospitals “partially functional,” overwhelmed and unable to provide basic medicine and care.

On Jan. 26, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled that there is a “real and imminent risk” that Israel is committing genocide in Gaza and, despite falling short of demanding Israel suspend its military operations, ordered six provisional measures to “prevent irreparable harm” to Palestinians. The case against Israel, brought by South Africa, documents an unfolding genocide against the Palestinian people, including “intentionally directing attacks against the civilian population, civilian objects and buildings dedicated to religion, education, art, science, historic monuments, hospitals, and places where the sick and wounded are collected; torture; the starvation of civilians as a method of warfare; and other war crimes and crimes against humanity.” It includes more than a dozen public admissions from Israeli political and military leaders like that of security cabinet member Avi Dichter that Israel is “rolling out the Gaza Nakba” — referring to the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians and seizure of land in 1948.

Yet despite the mounting evidence, and despite being taken to federal court for its failure to prevent this unfolding genocide, the Biden administration refuses to even place conditions on the more than $10 million in aid the United States provides Israel daily. Indeed when Israel, shortly after the ICJ ruling and without evidence, accused 12 U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) staff of being involved in Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack, the Biden administration immediately announced that it would cut aid to UNRWA — the largest humanitarian aid organization in Gaza. The United States is now funding genocide while simultaneously defunding those attempting to prevent it.

Educators of conscience everywhere should be — and are — discussing this in the classroom. But teachers who attempt this difficult task have been met with increasing repression. Even showing support for Palestinians online has been cause for disciplinary action.

Four teachers in Montgomery County, Maryland, were placed on administrative leave for public expressions of support for Palestinians. A charter school in Los Angeles fired two 1st-grade teachers and placed their principal on leave after one teacher revealed on Instagram they had taught a “lesson on the genocide in Palestine.” School authorities placed another 1st-grade teacher in Palm Beach, Florida, on administrative leave after she sent a letter to her district’s leadership asking them to “publicly recognize the Palestinian community” in their communications about the crisis. The Decatur, Georgia, school district suspended their equity coordinator for sharing “Resources for Learning & Actions to Support Gaza.”

Fueled at the highest levels of government, this is part of a broader crackdown on those who speak up for Palestinian rights. After a congressional hearing where mostly Republican lawmakers grilled the presidents of Harvard, MIT, and the University of Pennsylvania for five hours about Palestinian rights activism on their campuses and falsely equated that activism with antisemitism, two of the three presidents — including Claudine Gay, Harvard’s first Black president — resigned. Four universities — Columbia, Brandeis, George Washington, and Rutgers — have suspended campus chapters of Students for Justice in Palestine. The campus chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace was also suspended at Columbia. In Arizona, Tom Horne, the same state superintendent who led the campaign to shut down Tucson’s exemplary Mexican American Studies program, urged school districts to bar student clubs like Amnesty International and UNICEF because they “generate antisemitism among impressionable young people.”

This suppression of dissent — largely focused on educational institutions — is part of the broader wave of restricting social justice teaching. Like the educators removed for teaching about racial justice or creating safe and welcoming spaces for LGBTQ+ youth, many of the teachers accused of antisemitism are veteran educators with long histories of fighting racism and oppression.

Although antisemitism is certainly on the rise alongside a resurgence of white nationalism — most infamously on display in 2017 as demonstrators chanted “Jews will not replace us!” at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville — this white supremacist antisemitism is not what these anti-racist educators are being disciplined for. Indeed, many of the loudest voices equating criticism of Israel with antisemitism are encouraging the white supremacist resurgence. Take for example Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), who led the House inquisition against university presidents. She previously ran campaign ads parroting the white supremacist “great replacement” theory: the idea that elite politicians are attempting to replace white Americans and their influence with non-white immigrants. “Radical Democrats” are planning a “PERMANENT ELECTION INSURRECTION,” claimed her ad, “Their plan to grant amnesty to 11 MILLION illegal immigrants will overthrow our current electorate and create a permanent liberal majority in Washington.” She also slammed New York’s plan to reopen schools after the COVID-19 pandemic — a plan that mentions racism four times in 263 pages — as “using COVID funds to force the radical and racist critical race theory agenda on our children.”

When Claudine Gay resigned as president of Harvard, Christopher Rufo, the architect of the conservative assault on anti-racist teaching, celebrated on Twitter, now rebranded as X. He wrote, “SCALPED.” In referring to the practice of white colonists who collected gruesome trophies as they sought to exterminate Native Americans, Rufo was claiming Gay’s resignation as a victory for the movement he helped initiate.

These racist pundits and politicians are escalating their suppression of anti-racist voices by mislabeling legitimate criticism of Israeli policy as antisemitism. Not only does this ignore the Jews across the country who have been at the forefront of the movement for a cease-fire, it also dangerously ties the fate of the Jewish diaspora to the war crimes of the Israeli government — strengthening real antisemitism. This harmful conflation is fueled by statements like President Biden’s at a White House Hanukkah event where he said, “Were there no Israel, there wouldn’t be a Jew in the world who is safe.” And it is also powered by school administrators who recklessly label teachers antisemitic and discipline them for attempts to teach about Palestine.

At an online forum titled “Fighting Antisemitism Through the Lens of Collective Liberation,” Jewish Voice for Peace Action Political Director Beth Miller explained,

All of these resolutions, these hearings, these speeches, this language coming out of the highest-ranking folks in our government, what it is doing is actively endangering Jewish communities and it is actively endangering Palestinian communities and excusing and fueling the ongoing genocide against Palestinians. Because to be clear: There is rising antisemitism in this country and it’s scary. And there is rising anti-Palestinian racism in this country and it is scary. And what Congress is doing is fueling both of them at the exact same time.

It is not the educators attempting to discuss the crisis in Gaza in their classrooms who endanger Jewish and Palestinian students — but those silencing these discussions and in doing so, preventing a deeper understanding that lifts up a diverse range of Jewish and Palestinian voices, and includes a critical look at what is — and what is not — antisemitism. (See “No, Anti-Zionism Is Not Antisemitism” introducing a new lesson to bring these discussions into the classroom.)

Despite how frightening it can feel as social justice educators at this moment, the more we let our fear silence us the more we allow this campaign of terror to win and creeping fascism to take hold. Instead, we should understand and take hope in the reason this backlash has grown in intensity: More people than ever are refusing to stay quiet in the face of racism and injustice. As author Naomi Klein — whose excellent chapters on the diverse Jewish intellectual tradition in her new book Doppelganger are now publicly available online — stated in a recent webinar when asked about the repression of critics of Israel, “The thing is that they cannot silence as many people as are speaking up right now. This is just in my view, one of those courage moments. Stick with it. It’s working. That’s why you’re getting so much propaganda thrown at you.” Indeed, the larger backlash against social justice teaching is an effort to roll back the many gains made during and after the 2020 Black Lives Matter uprising — where an unprecedented number of people took to the streets for racial justice.

So while being a social justice teacher right now can feel isolating, we are not alone. In December, several Rethinking Schools editors went to the National Council for the Social Studies conference and attended Amanda Najib’s session on Palestine. With standing room only, it was one of the most well-attended sessions at the conference. A growing number of teacher union locals from Seattle to Chicago to Massachusetts have called for a cease-fire. Despite intense repression, nearly 100 teachers signed up to participate in the Oakland, California, educators teach-in for Palestine. (See “What We Learned from Our ‘Oakland to Gaza’ K–12 Teach-In”) On Jan. 20, more than 90 teachers spent the day learning about and discussing how to teach about Palestine at a conference in Oakland put on by the Middle East Children’s Alliance. Our Zinn Education Project continues to average about 1,000 new registrants every month. It is clear there continues to be a growing hunger for social justice curriculum.

It’s more important than ever to build networks of solidarity and mutual aid — spaces where we can share how we are teaching about difficult topics like Gaza, where we can build a curriculum to challenge the dominant narrative that what is happening in Palestine began on Oct. 7, where we can defend one another in the face of repression. That is the task before us: to knit together and strengthen the networks of teachers, parents, and students that can take bold action and muster the defiance necessary to break through the backlash.

And we should draw courage from an understanding that any risks we face do not compare to the risks faced by those under Israel’s bombs — made in the U.S.A. As Palestinian poet Refaat Alareer, killed in an Israeli airstrike along with six members of his family on Dec. 7, powerfully pleaded:

If I must die,
you must live
to tell my story . . .
If I must die
let it bring hope
let it be a tale.

Teach Palestine: A Rethinking Schools Webinar

Teach Palestine

May 15 at 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm CDT

Join Rethinking Schools for a webinar on the spring issue of Rethinking Schools, Teach Palestine. Panelists will offer stories, examples, and concrete strategies for teaching truthfully and critically about Palestine-Israel. At a time when the attack on social justice teaching has dramatically expanded as part of the crackdown on opposition to U.S. aid to Israel, it is essential that we support and learn from each other.

Participants will need access to Zoom.

ASL Interpretation will be available.

The event is free. To make events like this available to more educators and activists, we would greatly appreciate your solidarity donation. Your donation will directly support the expansion of our work and help us get resources to more teachers during this crucial time.


Call for Submissions: Teachers’ Work in Contentious Political Times — Workplace: A Journal for Academic Labor

Call for Submissions: Teachers’ Work in Contentious Political TimesWorkplace: A Journal for Academic Labor

Deadline for Full-length Submissions: September 30, 2024

Submission Types: Empirical and theoretical papers; interviews; practitioner field reports, or experiential narratives

Review Process: All submissions will be double-blind peer reviewed.

Guest Editors: Denisha Jones (Defending the Early Years), Brianne Kramer (Southern Utah University), Dana Morrison (West Chester University), Erin Dyke (Oklahoma State University), and Lauren Ware Stark (Université de Sherbrooke)

Philosophical Overview/Perspective 

While educators have found themselves in a politically contentious profession since the advent of compulsory schooling (Goldstein, 2015), since 2020, they have been caught in a constant onslaught of anti-teacher and anti-education rhetoric, policy, and governance. Guided by the blueprint developed from of decades neoliberal reforms which sought to erode the public good via privatization, standardization, and austerity, Covid-era policy responses imagined new ways to silence, demonize, and discredit educators, attempting to keep them out of critical decision-making as they attended to students’ changing needs during shifting realities (Grooms & Childs, 2021; Hodges et al., 2020). During this time, educators were made to answer for the “crime” of wanting to adhere to scientifically backed safety protocols that would protect the most vulnerable by stemming the spread of the deadly virus. This oftentimes meant keeping school buildings closed until districts could meaningfully uphold CDC protocols (Hoffman et al, 2021; Zhang et al., 2022). 

In many locations throughout the U.S., forced reopenings, expiring financial supports, and politicization of Covid-safety measures were the backdrop for conservative-backed parents’ groups taking over school board meetings, picketing outside schools, and harassing school employees at all levels, demanding a return to in-person learning or the ceasing of safety protocols such as mask-wearing, vaccine mandates, and social distancing (Borter et al., 2022; Cunningham, 2023; Nossel, 2022; Williams, 2022). Recognizing the success of these campaigns in several states and against the backdrop of a nation-wide resurgence in teachers’ labor militancy just prior to the pandemic, rightist political networks and organizations like Moms For Liberty (M4L) and Parents Defending Education (PDE) furthered their Koch- and Walton Family-funded agenda to undermine public education. They manufactured a false narrative that teachers were teaching critical race theory (CRT), making spurious claims about socio-emotional learning, and working to ban books that primarily focused on BIPOC and LGBTQ+ characters and issues (Anderson-Nathe, 2020; Asbury & Kim, 2020; Hartney & Finger, 2020; Morgan, 2022). Since 2020, there has been legislation of this kind put forth in nearly every state in the U.S., with many passing laws rooted in these inaccurate and careless claims that censor and punish educators for their work (Collie, 2021; Sachs, 2022). In many places, legislators have also targeted diversity, equity, and inclusion policies, programs, and offices in higher education institutions for dissolution (Cuevas, 2022). Students, staff, and faculty in K12 and higher education have experienced repression for speaking out against censorship and genocide (Hernandez et al., 2024). Yes, the teaching profession was in jeopardy prior to 2020, but now many scholars fear the teaching shortage will continue to worsen. 

In the face of reactionary movements and ongoing structural inequalities in education, educators have contributed to a range of struggles to defend public education and counter systems of oppression in schools. These include movements for safety in the Covid-19 pandemic (Maton, 2022; Stark et al., 2024), movements defending the freedom to learn and teach (Giroux, 2024), movements affirming BIPOC (Au, 2021; Curchin et al., 2024; Jones & Hagopian, 2020; Morrison & Porter-Webb, 2019; Ramos & Jani, 2024) and LGBTQIA+ (Shelton et al., 2019) students, and movements for social justice and solidarity unionisms (Charney, Hagopian, & Peterson, 2021; Dyke & Muckian Bates, 2023; Kramer, 2024; Stark, 2023). These movements are both as important and as contested as ever, as educators and the broader public face the threats of rising fascism and, with it, attacks on marginalized communities and those who teach or organize for justice. 

Leadership of the American Educational Research Association’s (AERA) Teachers’ Work/Teacher Unions SIG is seeking submissions for a special issue of Workplace: A Journal for Academic Labor. The special issue theme “Teachers’ Work in Contentious Political Times” seeks manuscripts focusing on teachers’ work in P-16 education, teacher unions, or community organizing. In this special issue, we seek empirical and theoretical papers, interviews (with current or retired practitioners, teachers who have left the profession, those in teachers unions, and those in grassroots organizations dedicated to equitable public education) that take a critical approach to the current issues educators are facing. 

Critical research seeks to disrupt and expose the status quo and elevate the voices of marginalized and oppressed people through the research process. We are interested in manuscripts that analyze and conceptualize teachers’ work in these current heightened political times. Below are a few suggested topics to include in this volume, but it is by no means exhaustive. 

  • Educator (birth to 25) response to anti-CRT and LGBTQ+ legislation
  • Educator organizing through unions and caucuses to resist attacks 
  • Grassroots community organizing with educators, parents, students, and activists 
  • Critical policy and discourse analysis 
  • Anti-racist, anti-oppressive, and decolonial approaches to teaching and learning enacted as resistance 
  • Activist research projects
  • Topics that historicize and contextualize contemporary policy movements and/or organized resistance
  • Educator narratives of political and curricular censorship and/or resistance to censorship
  • Critical policy network analyses that makes relations of power shaping educational reform efforts visible and tangible
  • Youth participatory action research and/or narratives of student-led organizing
  • Empirical studies or narratives that help us to understand how responses to attacks on public education are impacted by tensions or enactments of solidarity among traditionally certified teachers, alternative or emergency certified teachers, education support professionals (i.e., classroom aides, bus drivers), parents/caregivers, justice-oriented community-based groups, and/or students   


Tentative Publication Schedule:

Manuscripts due: September 30, 2024

First-Round Editor Decisions: October 5, 2024

Blinded manuscripts sent to reviewers: October 6, 2024

Manuscript Reviews due: December 5, 2024

Editor decisions sent to authors: January 5, 2025

Manuscript revisions due to editors: February 20, 2025

Final Revisions due to editors: March 10, 2025

Special Issue Targeted Release: April 2025

For details on manuscript submission, please see Workplace Information About Submissions

Additional questions can be directed to Brianne Kramer (



Anderson-Nathe, B. (2020). Prop It Up or Let It Fall? K-12 Schooling in and after COVID-19. Child & Youth Services, 41(3), 214–218.

Asbury, K. & Kim, L.E.D. (2020). “‘Lazy, lazy teachers”: Teachers’ perceptions of how their profession is valued by society, policymakers, and the media during COVID-19’, PsyArXiv, 20 July, available at:

Borter, G., Ax, J., & J. Tanfani (2022, February 15). School boards get death threats over race, gender, mask policies. Reuters.

Charney, M., Hagopian, J., & Peterson, B. (Eds.). (2021). Teacher unions and social justice: Organizing for the schools and communities our students deserve. Rethinking Schools.

Collie, R.J. (2021). ‘COVID-19 and teachers’ somatic burden, stress, and emotional exhaustion: Examining the role of principal leadership and workplace buoyancy’, AERA Open, 7(1), 1–15.

Cuevas, J. (2022). The Authoritarian Threat to Public Education: Attacks on Diversity, Equity, nd Inclusion Undermine Teaching and Learning. Journal of Language and Literacy Education, 18(2), pp. 1-6. DOI: 

Cunningham, M.T. (February 2023). Merchants of deception: Parent props and their funders. Network for Public Education.

Curchin, E., Dahill-Brown, S., & Lavery, L. (2024). Reckoning With the “Other” Pandemic: How Teachers’ Unions Responded to Calls for Racial Justice Amidst COVID-19. Educational Researcher, 0013189X241235634.

Dyke, E., & Muckian-Bates, B. (2023). Rank-and-File Rebels: Theories of Power and Change in the 2018 Education Strikes. WAC Clearinghouse.

Giroux, H. A. (2024). Educators as public intellectuals and the challenge of fascism. Policy Futures in Education, 14782103241226844.

Grooms, A. A., & Childs, J. (2021). “We Need to Do Better by Kids”: Changing Routines in U.S. Schools in Response to COVID-19 School Closures. Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk, 26(2), 135–156. 

Hartney, M.T. & Finger, L.K. (2020). “Politics, Markets, and Pandemics: Public Education’s Response to COVID-19”, working paper. Annenberg Institute, Brown University, Providence.

Hernandez, A. O., Petrow-Cohen, C., & Kaleem, J. (2024 April 18). USC students protest the ‘silencing’ of valedictorian with cancellation of speech. The Los Angeles Times,

Hodges, C., Moore, S., Lockee, B., Trust, T. & Bond, A. (2020, March 27). ‘The difference between emergency remote teaching and online learning.’ EDUCAUSE Review [online]. Available at: (Accessed 11 July 2021)

Kramer, B. (2024). Activists, Advocates, and Agitators: 21st Century Justice-Oriented Organizing. Myers Education Press. 

Jones, D. & Hagopian, J. (2020). Black lives matter at school: An uprising for educational justice. Haymarket Books.

Maton, R. (2022). The Chicago Teachers Union as Counterhegemony: Organized Resistance During COVID-19. In Progressive Neoliberalism in Education (pp. 169-183). Routledge.

Morgan, H. (2022). Resisting the movement to ban critical race theory from schools. Clearing House: A Journal of Educational Strategies, Issues and Ideas, 95(1), 35–41.

Morrison, D., & Porter-Webb, E. (2019). Building power through racial justice: Organizing the# BlackLivesMatterAtSchool Week of Action in K-12 and beyond. Berkeley Review of Education, 9(1).

Nossel, S. (2022, September 20). Parents should have a voice in their kids’ education but we have gone too far. Time.

Sachs, J. (2024, Jan 24). Steep rise in gag orders, many sloppily drafted. Pen America Freedom to Write 

Shelton, S. A., Barnes, M. E., & Flint, M. A. (2019). “You stick up for all kids”: (De) Politicizing the enactment of LGBTQ+ teacher ally work. Teaching and Teacher Education, 82, 14-23.

Stark, L. W. (2023). Learning and knowledge-making in contemporary educator movements. Globalisation, Societies and Education, 21(5), 754-769.

Stark, L. W., Tarlau, R., & Maton, R. M. (2024). ‘For Once We’re Asking for MORE Testing’: organisational infrastructure in the safe schools movement during COVID-19. Globalisation, Societies and Education, 1-16.

Williams, P. (2022, October 31). The right-wing mothers fueling the school board wars. The New Yorker

Zhang, Y., Mayorga, M.E., Ivy, J., Lich, K.H., & Swann, J.L. (2022). Modeling the impact of nonpharmaceutical interventions on COVID-19 transmission in K-12 schools. MDM Policy & Practice, 7(2), 1–15. DOI: 10.1177/23814683221140866

UBC Faculty Response to scholasticide in Palestine

UBC Faculty Response to scholasticide in Palestine

Message from Faculty for Palestine at UBC:

Israel has critically damaged or destroyed every one of Gaza’s 11 universities, over 370 schools, and countless libraries and irreplaceable archives. The destruction has been widely recognized as constituting scholasticide, a term coined by Palestinian scholar Karma Nabulsi to name the systematic destruction of Palestinian pedagogical institutions and murder of Palestinian scholars. Our colleagues in the Palestinian professoriate and their students are not only suffering from the immediacy of genocidal violence today, but also from the extent of the destruction are being denied a future for higher education in Gaza.

All the while, UBC continues to maintain institutional ties with Israeli institutions such as the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv University and Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, which are deeply implicated in military research, development and training of the Israeli state and its armed occupation forces. The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) has, since 2004, called for a boycott of Israeli institutions for these reasons, and for their discrimination against Palestinian students and violations of international law. Moreover, it is critical to consider the ways in which UBC’s study abroad programs in Israel are in direct and clear violation of UBC’s own non-discrimination policies because not all students are able to participate in them.

UBC’s silence and inaction is unacceptable. We urge the administration as a responsible educational institution to acknowledge the scholasticide in Gaza, and take steps to review and end ties with Israeli institutions that support genocide and occupation. Steps must be taken to build fruitful ties with institutions in Palestine that have been severely debilitated in the last few months and many decades of occupation preceding them.

Please find below, a statement crafted by the Palestinian-Canadian Artists and Academics Network (PCAAN), Faculty for Palestine Canada, and Jewish Faculty Network (National), and join the call for these demands at UBC by signing in support.

Joint Statement on Canadian Universities and Palestine

In light of the provisional measures ordered by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against Israel in relation to grave breaches of the Genocide Convention, we are writing to you on behalf of Faculty for Palestine Canada, the Jewish Faculty Network and the Palestinian-Canadian Academics and Artists Network to request that your university take urgent action to protect and support educators and the education system in the Gaza Strip.

 Over the past four months, we have witnessed Israel’s wholesale destruction of the post-secondary education system in Gaza, which is made up of over 625,000 students and about 23,000 teachers and professors, all of whom have been impacted by the war. As of 24 January 2024, Israel has killed 4,327 students and injured 8,109. Further, Israel has killed 231 teachers and administrators and injured 756. The number of students and educational staff killed in such a short period is unprecedented in the region’s history. Those students and teachers who have not been killed are among the more than 1.7 million people who have been forcibly displaced and who are living in overcrowded and unsanitary shelters or sleeping in the open. Like the rest of the population in Gaza, they are at risk of dying of hunger and disease, with no access to food, potable water, electricity, heating or medicine. While our current focus is on higher education, analyzing the broader picture of the Gaza education system reveals a devastating reality of long-term destruction, amounting to what experts term “scholasticide.” Israel has destroyed higher education infrastructure in Gaza on an unprecedented scale, the impact of which cannot be understood without also considering the massive destruction of elementary and secondary school education and staff. Taken together, this illustrates how a whole generation of students, teachers, and infrastructure is being destroyed.

Israeli forces have killed 94 members of Gaza’s higher education community, including numerous internationally respected scholars, deans, university presidents, and medical professors, who comprised part of the region’s intellectual leadership. These include Professor Sufian Tayeh, president of the NL Islamic University of Gaza, who – having won a prestigious fellowship – undertook research as a visitor at the University of Waterloo in 2021. Other scholars who have been killed by Israel are Professor Muhammad Eid Shabir, a microbiologist and Tayeh’s predecessor at the university for 15 years, Dr Said Al-Zubda, president of the University College of Applied Sciences, and Professor Refaat Alareer, who was co-founder of the ‘We Are Not Numbers’ project and one of Palestine’s most prominent intellectuals in Gaza.

Israel has systematically targeted all of Gaza’s universities. On 17 January, Israel blew up Al-Israa University, the last university left standing in Gaza after it was used as an Israeli military base for 70 days. Footage shared by the BBC shows the university being completely destroyed. This act of wanton destruction follows the repeated targeting by Israel of Gaza’s universities since the start of its military operation: the Islamic University was bombed on 11 October; the University College of Applied Sciences was bombed on 19 October; on 4 November, Israeli forces bombed Al Azhar University, the second largest university in Gaza, and this was followed by the destruction of the North Gaza branch of Al Quds University on 15 November. The medical school in the Islamic University was bombed on 10 December. The Palestine Technical College was also bombed and has been severely damaged. Al-Aqsa University was bombed on February 6th, 2024, destroying two buildings, and civilians sheltering in the university buildings were fired at.

In addition to the destruction of universities, as of mid-December 2023, 378 school buildings had been damaged, which amounts to more than 70% of Gaza’s education infrastructure. Israeli soldiers have filmed some of their acts of destruction, including one video that shows the moment the Israeli army blew up a UN school in Beit Hanoun in December. As a result of the destruction of Gaza’s schools, hundreds of thousands of children who have already been deprived of education for several months will not have a school to return to once Israel’s attacks subside. Moreover, Israeli forces have attacked multiple schools serving as temporary shelters, killing Palestinians who sought refuge in them. For example, in November 2023, Israeli forces attacked the UNRWA- run Al-Fakhoura and Al-Buraq schools, killing at least 50 people and wounding many others, while in December 2023, eyewitnesses attested to the execution of 7 people, including children, in attacks on Shadia Abu Ghazala School.

In addition to Israel’s scholasticide in the Gaza Strip, the Israeli army that is illegally occupying the West Bank has been actively dismantling the higher education infrastructure in the territory. Hundreds of checkpoints have crippled freedom of movement for students and faculty members. University campuses, such as Birzeit University have been closed since October 7th. In addition, even before the most recent wave of destruction, the Israeli army has frequently violated the sanctity of university campuses to arrest student leaders, most recently on September 27th at Birzeit University.

Israel’s killing of students and academic staff and its deliberate destruction of educational infrastructure constitute breaches of international humanitarian law, which requires Israel to take all feasible measures to spare civilians and civilian objects. It is self-evident that Israel has failed to comply with these requirements. As the UN Secretary-General noted in late October, ‘we are witnessing…clear violations of international humanitarian law…in Gaza’. Further, as South Africa argued before the ICJ, Israel’s attacks on education and students should be viewed as further evidence that Israel is deliberately inflicting on Palestinians in Gaza conditions calculated to bring about their destruction, in contravention of the Genocide Convention. As you know, the ICJ has ruled that South Africa’s case that Israel has committed genocide in Gaza is a plausible one.

In light of all of the above, we request that our university do the following:

 Palestinian-Canadian Artists and Academics Network (PCAAN)

Faculty for Palestine Canada

Jewish Faculty Network (National)

Socio-economic and political education in schools and universities

Economy, society and politics: Socio-economic and political education in schools and universities, edited by Christian Fridrich, Udo Hagedorn, Reinhold Hedtke, Philipp Mittnik, Georg Tafner is a new English language edition of a book originally published in 2021, Wirtschaft, gesellschaf und politick: Sozioökonomische und politische bildung in schule und hochschule.

The interconnections of economy, society and politics so obviously determine socio-economic and political structures and problem situations, current ways of thinking and acting as well as the collective perception of solution options that their still low attention in university teaching and school education is surprising. Phenomena such as pandemics, climate change, migration or authoritarianism make the close, complex and contradictory connections between economy, society and politics tangible. Against this background, socioeconomic research, teaching and education are urgently needed.

The volume aims to contribute to this by presenting research contributions on problem complexes such as economy and democracy, perspectivity and multiperspectivity, situation, interest and politics, subject and subjectification, and discipline and curriculum.

The book originated from papers presented at a conference sponsored by the Association for Socio-Economic Education and Research [GSÖBW – Gesellschaft für Sozioökonomische Bildung und Wissenschaft] held at University College of Teacher Education Vienna [Pädagogische Hochschule Wien], Austria, in February 2020.

I was honoured to give one of the keynote talks at the GSÖBW in Vienna and my talk appears as one of the chapters in the new English edition (as well as the German edition).

Petition: Demand That the Nakba Be Added to the B.C. Curriculum

Demand That the Nakba Be Added to the B.C. Curriculum

Join us and sign the petition to get the Nakba in the B.C. curriculum!

With the ongoing genocide in Gaza, colonization of Palestine, and widespread misinformation, it is time that the Ministry of Education add the Nakba to the B.C. elementary and secondary Social Studies curricula.

The Nakba, or “catastrophe,” which took place between 1947 and 1949, was the violent dispossession and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians that led to the creation of the state of Israel. Over 700,000 Palestinians were forcefully expelled from their homes, more than 15,000 were massacred, and over 500 of their villages were destroyed. The Nakba is essential context to the history of Palestine and Israel, yet is seldom talked about in the West.

The B.C. Social Studies curricula focus on historical atrocities including the colonization of Turtle Island (North America), the Holocaust, and the Rwandan genocide, but there is no mention whatsoever of the Nakba. To uphold our commitment to social justice, decolonization, and reconciliation, it is imperative that we ensure students do not leave the education system completely ignorant of the history of Palestine and Israel. We cannot have yet another generation grow up believing it’s “too complicated” or “too sensitive.” It is time we teach about the Nakba.

Endorsed by:
Teachers 4 Palestine BC
Independent Jewish Voices Vancouver, Victoria, and UBC
Canada Palestine Association-Vancouver
BDS Vancouver-Coast Salish Territories
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network
Labour for Palestine Vancouver & Victoria
Palestinian Youth Movement Vancouver
Parents for Palestine
Freedom From War Coalition

ABEH launches book: The Gifts of History Teaching

ABEH launches book: The Gifts of History Teaching



This week ABEH launched the book  The Gifts of History Teaching: (re)constructions on new bases , organized by professors Juliana Alves de Andrade (UFRPE) and Luis Fernando Cerri (UEPG), which is part of the productions resulting from the  XIII National Meeting of History Teaching Researchers (ENPEH), which took place between November 9th and 11th, 2022, at the Federal Rural University of Pernambuco (UFRPE), in Recife.

The book brings together discussions produced by the event’s speakers, as well as coordinators of Dialogue Research Groups (GPD), which address reflections on public policies,  concerns  around culture, political issues and the teaching of History, in addition to of discussions on research into the teaching of History and its subjects.

As the organizers write in the book presentation:

” We live in times of reconstruction and democratic vigilance. We are certain that, with this collection, ABEH offers its  work and its associates as material and as workers  for this great work.”
The work, which adds to the series Research on teaching history in present times , also resulting from XIII ENPEH, is available on the association’s website . The access is open and free