Teachers’ Union Declares Mideast Ceasefire Resolution ‘Out of Order’

The Montgomery County Educations Association (MCEA) ruled that a resolution in support of a ceasefire between Israel and Palestine was out of order. Therefore, no vote was taken.

MCEA attorneys ruled that the proposed resolution violated standards as it was beyond the scope of the union’s work.

The proposed resolution was part of the U.S. labor movement’s call for a ceasefire in Gaza and on President Joe Biden to immediately call for a ceasefire.

Prior to the Wednesday meeting, members of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington (JCRC) and the Montgomery County Jewish Education Association rallied in front of MCEA’s headquarters in Rockville, calling on the teachers to concentrate on education and their students rather than foreign affairs.

As about 75 people chanted “School Solutions, Not War Resolutions” and “Local Affairs, Not Foreign Affairs,” about 15 supporters of a ceasefire shouted, “Free Palestine” “and “Stop Killing Babies.”

Neither the protestors nor the media were permitted to attend MCEA’s meeting.

Rebecca Kotol, an MCPS elementary school counselor, told the crowd, “I am as proud of being Jewish as I am a school counselor and union member.”

She wondered why her union would raise a divisive political issue during a school year already sidetracked by the mishandling of teacher bullying and promotions and the departure of former Superintendent Dr. Monifa McKnight.

MCEA needs to be more concerned with class size, a shortage of educators and improving scores, noted Kotol and JCRC Executive Director Ron Halber.

Teachers should be concerned with keeping students safe, especially when this issue is bringing out the worst on social media, declared Bethesda-Chevy Chase High Senior Darci Rochkind.

“I wish I didn’t have to be here today,” she said, adding that she respects her teachers, “but I was disheartened by this.”

Following the vote, the JCRC issued a statement. “MCEA did the right thing by standing down on a resolution.”  They further wrote, “If passed, this resolution would have done nothing to educate students or support teachers but would have caused real harm to Jewish families and educators already battling a sharp increase in antisemitism attacks in our community.

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