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NYC public school principal criticized for urging staff to support Palestinians

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JTA — The principal of a Brooklyn middle school has apologized to her staff after sending an email last week calling on them to support Palestinian liberation — even as some of them say they did not think an apology was necessary.

Amanda Bueno, who heads M.S. 136, emailed teachers and administrators at her school last week amid the fighting between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, urging them to take action. The letter included several options, among them attending a vigil and calling on government officials to place sanctions on Israel, according to the New York Post, which broke news of the letter and has since covered the school’s saga closely.

Public employees in New York City are prohibited from using their roles or education department resources to engage in political activity, and Chancellor Meisha Porter criticized Bueno publicly over the weekend.

The MS 136 principal must apologize for her email. This was a clear exercise of poor judgment & we will take appropriate follow-up action. We must teach complex current events without bringing our political activities or beliefs into the classroom.

— Chancellor Meisha Porter (@DOEChancellor) May 22, 2021

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