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Boston-area residents file lawsuit over school district’s alleged anti-Semitism in curriculum

Several residents of the Boston suburb of Newton, Mass., have filed a lawsuit in a local superior court over what they alleged as bias in the school district’s teaching of the Arab-Israeli conflict in the public school’s system.

The 469-page legal complaintDechter et al. v. Newton School Committee et al., submitted by several Newton residents and represented by attorney Karen Hurvitz, purportedly details the history of residents attempting to address and correct bias in the curriculum.

The plaintiffs claim that Newton Public Schools has deliberately failed and refused to comply with the Equal Rights Amendment of the Massachusetts Constitution, with the Massachusetts Student Anti-Discrimination Act and with civil-rights regulations that require schools, through their curricula, to encourage respect for the human and civil rights of all individuals regardless of race, identity, religion, color, sex and national origin.

The plaintiffs and their attorney were provided with documentation by Americans for Peace and Tolerance (APT) executive director Ilya Feoktistov, whose investigations over the past several months formed the basis of this action.

According to APT, evidence described in the complaint purportedly shows “how Newton teachers taught that Jews and Christians deliberately forged their holy texts to contradict the Muslim Koran; that Zionism has ‘little connection’ to Jewish history in ‘Palestine’; that the Jews took advantage of the Holocaust to gain sympathy for Zionism at the expense of ‘Arab plight’; and that the Israelis treat the Palestinians like the Nazis treated the Jews.”

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