Los Angeles Teacher Resigns from Union Over Pro-BDS Motion: “I Feel Unsafe As a Jew”

Jewish Journal:

“This political battle has NOTHING to do with the education of my students.”

A teacher at the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) has resigned from the United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) union as a result of the union taking up a motion supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

The motion, which was passed during UTLA’s North Area (northeast Los Angeles) and Harbor Area (which includes Carson and San Pedro) meetings on May 20, expressed “our solidarity with the Palestinian people and call for Israel to end bombardment of Gaza and stop displacement at Sheikh Jarrah” and endorsed “the international campaign for boycotts, divestment, and sanctions against apartheid in Israel.”

UTLA said in a statement that the motion would be taken up for a vote by the UTLA House of Representatives in September and that motions passed in Area meetings don’t reflect the opinion of UTLA leadership.

Lindsey Kohn, a sixth-grade math and science teacher at James Madison Middle School in North Hollywood, wrote in her letter of resignation that “I feel unsafe as a Jew in this UTLA” with the motion being brought to a vote.

“As an educated person, I cannot understand how the union can stand by a terrorist organization and a country that bombs Israel, hurts their children and wants to kill every Jew. The Palestinians use children and civilians as human shields and then blame Israel for their death. This political battle has NOTHING to do with the education of my students.”

Additionally, Kohn chided UTLA for supporting the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, accusing the union of putting “many lives in danger by taking away our school safety officers. This organization is racist, anti-semitic [sic] and clearly extremely ignorant.”

Kohn told the Journal that the union “was very nonchalant about” the motion, telling her that they were just going to wait and see what happens with the upcoming vote. Kohn felt like she needed to resign from the union because “the only way to have my voice heard is to take my money away from them”; she had been in the union for 11 years.

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