‘Jihadi’ School?

April 16, 2007 1 min read

Start a charter school focused on medicine, the arts, or business, and people applaud, shrug, or yawn.

But a school based on Arabic language and culture? Financed by taxpayers? In the city hardest hit by 9/11’s Islamic terrorists? It’s little wonder the Khalil Gibran International Academy has found itself under fire even before its doors open.

“Segregationist” and “Jihadi” are among the epithets that have been flung at the school, which plans to open in Brooklyn, New York, this fall.

On the contrary, replies academy principal Debbie Almontaser, a Muslim and a veteran New York City teacher of Yemeni background.

“It is a school that is going to be working quite hard in building bridges of understanding, tolerance, and acceptance, valuing diversity and truly just developing students into global citizens,” she says.

What do you think? Should there be restrictions on what public schools can focus on?

A version of this news article first appeared in the Web Watch blog.