Dear Dr. Cortez and Ms. Senour
Thank you for your email stating the college’s position. However, it should be clear that there can not be a real discussion (freedom of speech or not) because the teachers who voted to condemn Israel are all BASED on LIES, easily proven fallacies that are clearly apparent in daily life in Israel and of course via history.
Israel does Not teach their students to hate Arabs living in Palestine nor teaches them that the so-called Palestinian Arabs don’t exist nor create childrens’ camps so that their youngsters learn to kill others. Instead, what the Union learns from groups such as BDS, Jewish Voice for Peace, and Students for Justice in Palestine, I can assume are all lies, which they are known for propagating against Israel. Remember, their map of the area does not show Israel; their motto being…” Palestine from the river to the sea”.
There is no way that the person in charge of a class, known sometimes as teachers others as propagandists, would allow the students to contradict them regarding Israel, even if the students are more knowledgeable. The teachers as per their obvious votes will carry on their antisemitic sentiment when they teach when they walk when they talk.
It has been clear in various “pro-freedom of speech” universities that Pro Israel speakers are blocked, hassled, interfered with, and silenced.
Therefore, the solution, if you genuinely care for the students is to employ Non_Biased, Non-Discriminatory teachers.
I would be very interested to see the meetings between the teachers’ union and their advisors and their final decisions.
Pablo Nankin, MD
On Saturday, September 18, 2021, 02:05:40 PM PDT, Carlos Cortez
Thank you for your email. As President Nieto Senour indicated, this matter has been referred to me for a response. I am not sure if you had an opportunity to read the message I sent out this past Wednesday regarding the AFT’s resolution. I am including it below:
September 15, 2021
We are proud that the San Diego Community College District (SDCCD) continues to be a safe place for all people to work and all students to learn.
As many of you know, there have been a number of statements publicized that denounce Israel and its actions in the Palestinian conflict. We recognize that the opinions expressed by some groups, including the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Local 1931, are not embraced by many employees and students. Further, we offer our sincere thoughts to those who were offended by the resolution.
The AFT’s resolution and their involvement in politics is not precedent-setting among unions, and SDCCD takes no position on whether such activities are warranted or appropriate. The local and national leadership of the AFT are at odds on this matter, and the District does not engage in debates within the AFT.
As a District committed to authentic student learning, we believe that this issue is beyond the scope of our mission. Further, we recognize that there are passionate and conflicting perspectives espoused by all who are invested in this historically sensitive issue. We are committed to fostering an environment where students and employees can engage in civil discourse.
Our freedoms of speech allow us to share opinions without recourse. Such dialog is one of the hallmarks of debate long practiced in higher education, and as a collection of higher education institutions, SDCCD encourages freedom of expression. Such dialog and debate should always be tempered in a spirit of inclusion, civility, and respect. SDCCD seeks to promote the well-being and the civil rights of all, regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, age, sexual identity, gender identity, ability or disability.
SDCCD is committed to diversity, inclusion, and social justice as values of a healthy community. Collectively, our District employs 5,400 employees and serves 92,085 students. We recognize that each person is an individual and is celebrated for the diversity they bring to our community. Our values consist of inclusion and making efforts to build community through trust and positive actions. We welcome and respect students, staff, and community members from all religious beliefs and faith traditions, and therefore take no positions that might alienate any affiliation or background of our students and employees.
As we continue our work to create peaceful and successful educational experiences and environments for our employees and our students, we ask all in our District community to encourage free expression in alignment with our core values of civility, respect, and inclusion. All people and all perspectives are welcome at SDCCD, and any efforts to divide us must be resisted.
In the end, we are all human. We all experience pain. We all want a better world for the next generation. We urge you to practice acceptance and kindness. Be generous in our interpretation of one another’s opinions and actions. Act from a place of love. Do what you can in your space to make all students and employees feel accepted and safe.
With Utmost Respect,
Dr. Carlos O. Turner Cortez, Chancellor
Dr. Ricky Shabazz, President, San Diego City College
Dr. Pamela T. Luster, President, San Diego Mesa College
Dr. Wesley Lundburg, President, San Diego Miramar College
Dr. Kay Faulconer Boger, Interim President, San Diego College of Continuing Education