Middle school under fire after multicultural night debuts a map that claims all of Israel is Palestine
Some parents were upset after a map depicting all of Israel as Palestine showed up at a middle school multicultural night last week.
What are the details?
According to WXIA-TV, the incident took place March 7 at Autrey Mill Middle School in Alpharetta, Georgia.
The map purported to show the Middle East from the perspective of Muslims, and showed that the entire country of Israel was labeled "Palestine."
Both Israeli and Jewish parents found the map to be terribly distasteful and offensive.
A spokesperson for Fulton County Schools said that they are investigating to discover the map's origins.
"Fulton County Schools was made aware of an insensitive political and geographic display at Autrey Mill Middle School's recent Multicultural Night. This event is hosted by families and staff with the intent of celebrating different cultures and nationalities. We condemn the negative and extreme political agendas these symbols represent.
"We are investigating this incident, and will take all necessary actions to find the individual(s) responsible and hold them accountable," the statement concluded.
What are people saying about this?
One mother told the station that the map wasn't even in context.
"Kids who saw this or anybody that was exposed to this last night that doesn't even know what the story is behind this, right now, thinks this is the map of Palestine," the woman said.
Another added, "Israel wasn't mentioned on that map at all. They basically wrote 'Palestine' in the place of Israel. They, the Palestinians, talk about from the land to the sea, which means having all the Jews wiped away and the Palestinians on the land instead of the Jews."
Another parent complained that the materials weren't reviewed properly.
"Nobody in the school was going over the content of the materials that is being presented," the parent complained.
On Friday, Principal J.E. Trey Martin addressed the incident in a letter to parents, revealing that he was "extremely disappointed and disgusted with the individuals who presented an insensitive political and geographic representation."
"This display does not represent our school culture which is one that values inclusion and unity," he wrote.
Martin is working with district officials to investigate the matter. You can read the full letter here.
On Tuesday, the local chapter of CAIR called on the district to issue an apology for criticism over the display, and revealed that some students have been bullied as a result of the negative attention the display received.
Edward Ahmed Mitchell, who is the executive director of CAIR in Georgia, said that the school did approve the display.
"By rushing to publicly condemn these students before gathering those facts, Fulton County Schools validated an online smear campaign, turned a simple misunderstanding into a public spectacle, and put a target on the back of the school's Palestinian-American students who are now experiencing harassment," Mitchell said.
Video: CAIR-Georgia Says Students Bullied Over School's Palestine Display www.youtube.com