Families in the East Bay are requesting an apology after claiming that the Oakland teachers union has taken a controversial stance on the Israel Hamas War. Jewish parents believe that the union’s actions are promoting anti-Semitism. ABC7 news reporter Tera Campbell spoke to some of these families, where dozens of Jewish families, teachers, and allies gathered outside Montclair Elementary on Friday to voice their concerns. The rally was held in opposition to a resolution passed by the Oakland Education Association earlier in the week.
The families are urging the OEA to withdraw this inflammatory and dangerous resolution. While there are still some amendments to be finalized, the OEA states that the resolution endorses Palestinian Liberation, encourages teachers to participate in pro-Palestinian demonstrations, and calls for a ceasefire.
Many question why a teacher’s Union or school board would involve themselves in one of the most complex international conflicts when global leaders are unable to come to a resolution. During the rally, members of organizations such as the American Jewish Committee, the ADL, and the Jewish Community Relations Council took the stage. They called on the OEA to reverse the resolution and issue an apology, deeming it blatantly anti-Semitic and wrong.
In response, the OEA referred us to an earlier statement posted on social media, where they condemn anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, demand the release of hostages held by Hamas, express grief for the loss of life, and join the growing collective calling for a ceasefire. Some, like high school teacher Yahia Kaji from OUSD, support the resolution and believe it is important for unions to take a stand for worker rights and address issues affecting students and teachers in schools. Meanwhile, at the rally, parents expressed their fears about sending their children to school and wearing symbols of their Jewish faith. They shared their concerns about removing mezuzahs from their doors.
Tara Campbell from ABC7 News reported on the event..