Editorial cartoon by SIGNE WILKINSON, Philadelphia Inquirer, February 16, 2017.

Palestinian Peace and Conflict Studies Professor Disinvited from Speaking at Friends School

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Palestinian Peace and Conflict Studies Professor Disinvited from Speaking at Friends School

The Global Campaign for Peace Education supports statements of action and solidarity promoted by the American Friends Service Committee and others to stand in solidarity with all those negatively impacted by the events related to the cancelled speaking engagement of Sa’ed Atshan, a Palestinian Quaker and an assistant professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at Swarthmore College, who had been invited to speak to Friends Central Upper School students on February 3rd.  The cancellation of this event by administrators led to student protests and the indefinite suspension of two teachers.  

Following is a statement from the AFSC and links to news articles and references detailing the event.  We also encourage you to consider signing a petition developed by an alumni of Friends Central School encouraging the school administration to the administration to restore Professor Atshan’s invitation to speak, to reinstate the two suspended faculty, and to apologize to all three.

AFSC Statement

Sa’ed Atshan is a Palestinian Quaker and an assistant professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at Swarthmore College. He had been invited to speak to Friends Central Upper School students on February 3rd. But Sa’ed’s talk was cancelled. Craig Sellers, head of school, said in an email to the school community that Sa’ed speaking “raised concerns from some members of our community.” Students have protested in response to the cancellation of the talk. On Monday, the two teachers who invited Sa’ed were placed on indefinite administrative leave. The Quaker Palestine Israel Network has written an open letter about this situation. AFSC is deeply troubled that students at the school were not allowed to hear Sa’ed’s perspective and draw their own conclusions. We stand with Sa’ed and support the immediate reinstatement of the teachers who invited him. We expect a Friends school to teach its students to engage controversial topics by offering many perspectives, not by silencing those who may hold views that differ from the mainstream.  We encourage you to share this blog post widely to give voice to Sa’ed, who was silenced by the school.

 Click here to read the entire AFSC blog post: “A Palestinian Quaker bears witness to pacifism”

Sign the Petition

 Click here to read and sign a petition developed by a Friends Central School alumni

Media Links

 Friends’ Central School and Prof. Sa’ed Atshan – A Storify collection of current and up-to-date news curated by Swarthmore Professor Lee Smithey
 Friends’ Central students protest cancellation of Palestinian speaker (Philadelphia Inquirer – February 10)
 Friends’ Central School suspends teachers over Palestinian speaker – Philadelphia Inquirer – February 13)

 

 

 

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