by Mike DeNardo
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Two teachers at Friends’ Central School in Wynnewood have been suspended after a controversy over a Palestinian speaker.
The teachers were faculty advisers to a club that invited a Swarthmore professor who is a Palestinian Quaker to speak.
Parents objected, believing the professor, Sa’ed Atshan supports sanctions against Israel.
Friends’ Central School put the brakes on the speaker, and teachers Ariel Eure and Layla Helwa joined a student walkout in protest.
In a statement, Head of School Craig Sellers said the speaker was not canceled but “paused,” and the teachers were put on paid leave for ignoring directives.
“Instead of there being any kind of due process and any kind of investigation where they can participate and defend themselves, in very un-Quakerlike fashion, he just summarily decided to suspend them,” said Mark D. Schwartz, an attorney representing the teachers.
The school has set up a task force to determine what to do next. Schwartz says he’s considering legal action.