One of the aims of New Stevenston Primary in Motherwell is to enable children to “make informed choices and decisions and to develop knowledge and understanding of the world, taking into consideration different beliefs and cultures.” The laudable ambition was not quite lived up to in a recent homework set for 11 year olds branding Palestinians as “terrorists.”
The topic explored by pupils was part of a social studies programme to give a greater understanding of the “nature of different conflicts and their regional, global and historical significance.” It was claimed “not pass any judgement” though it has since become discredited only after being exposed.
North Lanarkshire Council, which runs the school, was forced to apologise after parents held a meeting with teachers over the worksheet that asked children to describe “two examples of Palestinian terrorist activities”. It was claimed to be an isolated incident and that the teaching pack was now obsolete.
One of the mysteries yet to be resolved is how and when such smears about Palestinians became part of a studies programme in the first place and how extensive it may be. Perhaps one needs to subscribe to it being a conspiracy theory at a time when even radical preachers are being excluded from educational institutions.