NY1: Controversial Arabic-Language School Opens Amongst Protests

“We know that there have been lots of unfair attacks, but what people need to focus on, if they’re fair minded and balanced about how they see it, they will see the school that we see, which is vibrant, inclusive and focused on excellence in public education,” said Garth Harries of the Department of Education.

While there are 70 dual-language schools in the city, Khalil Gibran is the first to focus on Arab language and culture. The school has been met with plenty of opposition since it was announced earlier this year.

On Tuesday, protesters took their anger to the steps of City Hall.

“The mayor and chancellor owe the citizens and taxpayers an explanation for the necessity of a school like this,” said protestor Irene Alter. “And, additionally, [an explanation of] how they plan to monitor it, since it’s well known that many of the texts emanating from countries such as Saudi Arabia are filled with anti-American, anti-Zionist rhetoric.”

However, education officials stress that the school is not a religious one. More…

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