FL Rep. Caruso Demands Action on ‘River to Sea’ Teacher – Karen Brill Made School Board Chair
Florida State Rep. Mike Caruso, R-West Palm Beach, sent a forceful message to Palm Beach County School Superintendent Mike Burke Wednesday night demanding the suspension of ‘River to the Sea” teacher Layann Alhunaidi.
Caruso’s District Aide, Eva Sazonova, read a letter from Caruso to Burke and the School Board expressing his concern that first graders at Greenacres Elementary in Palm Beach County were being exposed to antisemitism by their teacher.
On Nov. 10, FloridaJolt wrote about Layann Alhunaidi, a local elementary school teacher who contacted the school board and the School Superintendent, Mike Burke, demanding some statement or action in support of “Palestine,” aka Gaza.
When Florida Jolt investigated, we found Alhunaidi’s Facebook page full of “River to the Sea” photos, and my phone call with her confirmed that she holds anti-Israel, anti-semitic beliefs.
Read the complete account here: Palm Beach County Teacher a ‘River to Sea’ Advocate
Caruso’s letter read in part:
HB 741 was enacted in 2019 with the aim of combatting such prejudice. This bill defines antisemitism and explicitly prohibits discrimination within Florida’s K-20 public education system based on religion. Acts of antisemitism, or any form of discrimination, are unequivocally unacceptable, and they should be condemned in the strongest possible terms.
Our students should not be exposed to genocidal rhetoric. Your office needs to send a strong message and suspend this teacher. Anti-Semitism and genocidal rhetoric are absolutely unacceptable behavior for anyone, especially for a teacher who is teaching and therefore shaping the minds of our children. ~State Rep. Mike Caruso
District Aide Sazonova before the School Board
Caruso’s Full letter to the school board.
I’ve been surprised by how far ahead of the politicians the public has been on the Alhunaidi issue. I realize the state legislators were in Tallahassee this week, but I know the story made the rounds in Tally. No one spoke up locally, either.
When Lauren Gross of The Gross Family Center For The Study of Antisemitism And The Holocaust has five hundred letters delivered to the school district demanding action on Alhunaidi and another 150-200 letters were sent directly from the FloridaJolt website, I expected more of the politicians to step up.
Alhunaidi is the first local teacher I’m aware of who’s been exposed for having extreme views that advocate for the elimination of Israel, but there’s way more out there, and she won’t be the last. None of us asked for this battle on our doorstep, but now that the battle is here, the only moral and honorable course of action is to fight.
So the local politicos need to put on their big boy pants and get ready because the people expect better from them.
It should be noted that school board policy forbids board members from responding in any way to public comments.
In a surprise move, the only Jewish member of the School Board, District 3 Board Member Karen Brill, was elected chair of the board by a 4-3 vote, and District 1 Board Member Barbara McQuinn was made Vice-Chair.
Brill posted on her Facebook page:
It has been a 30-year ride from advocating for our students with disabilities to serving on the School Board. When I ran the Exceptional Student Education Coalition of Palm Beach County, I never dreamt that I would one day become School Board Chair. This was not expected, and I am grateful for my colleagues’ confidence in me. I do not take this honor lightly, and I look forward to working with everyone throughout the School District and Palm Beach County.
Congratulations to my Vice-Chair, Mrs. Barbara McQuinn. We will be a great team!
We at Florida Jolt would like to congratulate Board Chair Karen Brill and Vice Chair Barbara McQuinn and wish them the best in their new positions.
I’ll leave you with a young man named Edward Nissenbaum who spoke to the school board and tried to educate the educrats about antisemitism.
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