Mar 16, 2010
By Amy Goodman
Debbie Almontaser has won a victory in her battle against discrimination. She was the founding principal of the first Arabic-language public school in the United States, until a campaign of hate forced her out. She is well known for her success in bridging cultural divides, bringing together Muslims, Christians and Jews, yet as the new school neared its opening date in the summer of 2007, she became the target of anti-Muslim and anti-Arab attacks. Last week, the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) ruled that the New York City Department of Education (DOE) discriminated against her “on account of her race, religion and national origin.”
Hers is a vision the New York City Department of Education should embrace, with her prompt reinstatement.
The school is called the Khalil Gibran International Academy. Gibran was a Lebanese-born writer and philosopher. His best-known book, “The Prophet,” published in 1923, has sold more than 100 million copies in 40 languages. A line from “The Prophet,” prominent on the academy’s website, reads, “The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind.” Read more…