One of my most memorable lessons occurred in a Junior High School Social Studies class. The teacher came in that day dressed in Arab clothing in a class where most of the students were Jewish.

The students and the character the teacher was playing spent most of the period debating the existence of Israel. It got very heated. In the end, the teacher took off his headdress and exposed his lesson. It had to do with how to present an argument, especially in an emotionally charged environment. I don’t remember much about the arguments that were presented that day, but I do remember that lesson.

It saddens me that this lesson plan would not end well for the teacher today. Teachers need to be given the professional courtesy of respecting their academic freedom. That can mean dressing up as an Arab in front of a room full of Jewish students. It can also mean challenging uninformed opinions.

Parent, special education advocate and former LAUSD School Board candidate. Still fighting for the children.

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