Palestinian Professor Refuses Second Invitation To Speak At Friends’ Central School

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A professor at the center of controversy at a private Main Line school is turning down a second invitation to speak there.

Last week, right after firing the two teachers who invited a Palestinian professor to address a student club in February, Friends’ Central School in Wynnewood invited Sa’ed Atshan again. But Atshan says he’s not speaking unless teachers Ariel Eure and Layla Helwa are hired back.

Student protests erupted in February when the school cancelled Atshan’s original speech. Attorney Mark Schwartz represents the teachers, and is a friend of Atshan’s.

“He’s a pretty devout Quaker,” Schwartz said. “And he perhaps somewhat naively believes that they should be rehired and then he’d be happy to speak.”

In a statement, Atshan says he’s “heartbroken at how this situation has unfolded,” and says it is “not too late” for Friends’ Central to reinstate the teachers.

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