Palm Beach County Teacher a ‘River to Sea’ Advocate
Even a simple message of support for Israel and denouncing antisemitism and hate can flush out yet another person who thinks the State of Israel should be eliminated.
On Oct. 10, Palm Beach County School Board Superintendent Mike Burke sent out a simple message of concern and support for Israel, denouncing antisemitism and “any form of discrimination or hatred.”
Antisemitism, like any form of discrimination or hatred, has no place in our schools or community. Our schools will not tolerate antisemitism, and we will take appropriate action to
address and prevent any instances that may arise. ~Superintendent Mike Burke
Mike Burke’s entire message
For Palm Beach County teacher Layann Alhunaidi, that wasn’t good enough. Alhunaidi responded to Burke and copied the entire school board lamenting the “atrocities” Palestinians have suffered. Interestingly enough, in a 409-word email, Alhunaidi never mentions Jews, Hamas, Israel, Oct. 7, or terrorism, as if the brutal attack on Israel never happened and Gazans were the victims.
There was a string of emails, so Florida Jolt decided to learn more about Alhunaidi. Her Facebook page was interesting and explained a lot.
The only school board member to respond to Alhunaidi was Palm Beach County District 4 School Board Member Erica Whitfield.
Read the entire email thread starting from the bottom up.
I called School Board Member Whitfield and asked her to comment further on her email exchange, given that Alhunaidi seemed to be demanding some statement or action in support of “Palestine,” aka Gaza.
Whitfield was repaid for her kindness with further demands for the school board to do something, not about the rising antisemitism and violence against Jews in Palm Beach County but about the non-existent danger in our community to Muslims. Alhunaidi cites the terrible murder of a young Muslim boy in Chicago as the reason, and the murder of a Muslim pediatrician in Texas, despite there being no evidence it was a hate crime and is still being investigated.
Whitfield says, “Thank you,” and gets back.
Good Afternoon Erica,
Mon, Nov 6, 2023 at 3:10 PM
I am a bit confused. In reference to my first email, I am imploring the school board to take action; I am not just voicing a concern. Does your thank you acknowledge that?
I spoke to Whitfield first, asked her to respond to Alhunaidi’s demands, and gave her the option of sending me a written quote.
As a Palm Beach County School Board Member, my responsibility is to ensure the safety of all our students and staff. My response to our teacher was to acknowledge receipt of her communication and to understand her concerns or issues. I stand with Israel and am saddened by the impact this war is having both overseas and in our community. I do not want to see any bullying or unfair treatment of our children in our schools, and want to ensure every single student feels safe.
~Palm Beach County District 4 School Board Member Erica Whitfield
Then I called Alhunaidi, and Yikes! She yelled at me during the entire conversation. I called, introduced myself, and said I had read the emails, and my team did a social media sweep, so my question was, “Do you believe the State of Israel has a right to exist.” Over and over, she yelled, “That’s not a professional question!” “That’s not a professional question!” I managed to ask, “Your Facebook page has “River to the Sea Palestine will be Free. Do you know what that means?” I figured she’d probably say she didn’t know what it meant and dodge the trouble that was sure to come. Instead, I got, “That’s my personal page and my personal opinion about three times in a row and then she went back to yelling, “That’s not a professional question!” Okay, I said, but you have it multiple times on your Facebook page, and as a government employee paid with taxpayer dollars, it’s bound to cause you trouble, and she started yelling, “You’re just making up lies and trying to threaten me.” Again, repeating it over and over and not letting me speak. Then I said you have a good day and ended the phone call.
I can’t say I ended the conversation because we didn’t have one. I’m sure you’ve seen Alhunaidi’s debate tactics used many times before. When the left (Alhunaidi is a registered Democrat) has no argument, they scream one nonsensical sentence over and over, hoping to outlast and overpower the other person.
The one other thing I managed to say was that she was a teacher and a college graduate, and she should have some idea, even if it’s from watching TV, how to talk to the press, but she ignored the comment and just kept yelling.
Alhunaidi has deleted everything from her Facebook page, but the internet is forever, and so are screencaps.
The question Palm Beach County School officials should now have to answer is if they think an elementary school teacher who clearly believes in the elimination of the State of Israel, and even possibly the Jewish people, should be teaching in the public school system.
I’m a free speech absolutist, but the School System of Palm Beach County is not, and if they would fire a teacher who openly supported the KKK or the Nazi Party, then indeed, Alhunaidi should be fired.
Would any Jewish parent or person who wasn’t antisemitic want Alhunaidi teaching their small children?
The usual platitudes from politicians are no longer enough.
The Palm Beach County School System either opposes antisemitism, or it doesn’t, and actions speak louder than words.
Other stories you may want to read:
- Citizens Insurance Tries to Tamp Down Concerns - December 7, 2023
- Florida Supreme Court Weighs Prosecutor Worrell’s Suspension - December 7, 2023
- Florida School Board Hammered Over ‘Palestinian’ Propaganda Video - December 6, 2023