Brighton and Hove (LEA Code 846)
Education and Lifelong Learning
Brighton & Hove Council,
I write to you as a concerned parent.
It has been brought to my attention that Brighton and Hove NUT has asked its members to join the anti-Israel demonstration organised by the Brighton Palestinian Solidarity Campaign at a shop in the centre of Brighton called Ecostream this Saturday.
While I understand that the teachers are entitled to their own political opinions and as professionals, would not bring this into the classroom, it is very difficult to remain anonymous or unseen at a demonstration in the centre of Brighton.
As a parent of a Jewish child, it would be very uncomfortable for children to see one their teachers at an anti-Israel demonstration and then to have to go into the classroom with them. Teachers hold a position of power and authority, the underlying impact this can have on pupils is of great concern.
Additionally for the staff in the shop, some of who are only there at weekends while still in full-time education and have seen this call-to-arms, this is very intimidating.
I hope you can appreciate my concerns.
This is not about the rights and wrongs of the particular cause but about the impact it has on the pupils. This is about one of the main teaching unions using its influence to orchestrate a political rally without thought of the impact it could have on students. Surely this is not something that you support?
It is understood that the Brighton and Hove branch of the NUT are using the ‘Children’s Parade’ that opens the Brighton Festival to encourage teachers to join the demonstrations outside EcoStream.
Both they and the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign have been using twitter to garner support. The Brighton NUT is soliciting teachers who are spending a family day out celebrating teaching, studying, schools and children, to come to EcoStream and join the regular ‘anti-Israel’ rally.
I and many other parents are very troubled by these developments and would welcome the thoughts of the Brighton and Hove Local Education Authority.