Dickinson Independent School District in Galveston County is now investigating a complaint from the parents of an Israeli student after an alleged antisemitic incident took place between their child and her teacher.
Talya Hayoun, a freshman at Dickinson High School, says she walked into her English class last week to find a message saying “No Justice, no Peace. Justice for Palestine,” written on the whiteboard.
Talya, who is Israeli, says the message was not part of a lesson. She believes it was an opportunity for her teacher to insert her political opinion about the Israel-Hamas war into the classroom.
According to Talya, the teacher then proceeded to ask her where she was from before asking her if she still had family in Israel. Talya responded, “Yes, of course. All my family is over there, and I’m from there too.”
She told FOX 26 that the message on the board made her feel scared and targeted as she says she is the only Israeli in the high school.
“I’m really, really scared. I’m the only Israeli at school,” Talya said. “No one is Jewish over there. They made me feel guilty that I’m Jewish and that I’m from Israel.”
The Texas Administrative Code states that an “educator shall not intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly treat a student or a minor in a manner that adversely affects or endangers the learning, physical health, mental health, or safety of the student or minor.”
After the incident, Talya’s parents came to her aid, calling on the school district to do something about the matter.
“What is the benefit here? What is the purpose here? Someone needs to take responsibility here about this situation here because my daughter, she is not at fault that she is Israeli,” said Talya’s father, Benjamin Hayoun.
Talya’s parents also expressed that they believed it was inappropriate for the teacher to single out their daughter to make a political statement to a classroom full of her peers.
The family says they have filed a complaint with the DISD police department and the school’s principal.
In a statement to FOX 26, a spokesperson with DISD said there is an ongoing investigation into the incident.
“Dickinson ISD is aware of a situation on Thursday morning involving a Dickinson High School English teacher who parents have said wrote a statement on the board related to the Israeli and Palestine war. The parents have met with high school administration, and the district is investigating the situation.”