Palestine in schools: Advice for Families
With the siege on Gaza (October 2023), young people across the UK have witnessed the killing of thousands of Palestinians. Senior UN staff and human rights organisations have called this a collective punishment and therefore a war crime.
We know that this is hugely impacting the wellbeing of young people, especially from Muslim, Black and brown communities. But when they come into school with questions, trying to process their grief and anger, they are being silenced, policed and punished.
We created a guide with advice for families on how to approach your school to raise your concerns about how they’re addressing the siege on Gaza.
The Department of Education guidance is encouraging schools to discipline students who express solidarity with Palestine through suspensions, exclusions, referrals to Prevent and other sanctions.
This will only further create division in our communities and will not help the increase in Islamophobia and anti-semitism. Schools have a duty of care which should prioritise students’ physical, emotional and mental wellbeing.
Disciplinary actions will add to the distress young people are currently facing, and impact their learning.
We hope that if families come together to start discussions on how this is impacting our children, schools will reconsider their approach and work on creating a safe learning environment for all children.
What We Did
We developed this resource for families to understand their rights to freedom of speech and advice on how they can raise their concerns with schools. This resource was designed with people from the community, the collective Palestine in Schools, families, lawyers and teachers.