Scottish primary school gives homework to children that refers to Palestinians as 'terrorists'

North Lanarkshire Council has apologised for the 'entirely inappropriate' coursework

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Children’s coursework which refers to Palestinians as “terrorists” has been withdrawn by a council after it received angry complaints.

Eleven-year-olds at a primary school in Motherwell, Scotland, have been issued worksheets that state: “Palestinians feel they have the RIGHT to use terrorism against Israelis.”

It then asks the pupils – in classes equivalent to Year 6 level – to “describe two examples of Palestinian terrorist activities.”


Aliyah Shafiq, from Motherwell, posted the image of the homework sheet on Facebook yesterday and wrote: “How is my little sister being made to answer questions like this for her homework?

“This is completely unacceptable and has to be complained about to North Lanarkshire Council.”

She added: “Guys can I just make it clear that although the homework was given to New Stevenston Primary P7 pupils, the actual sheet is from the council and NOT the school or any teacher directly.”

An additional ‘explanatory’ sheet given to the children says: “Palestinians who live in Israel believe that it is THEIR land which is being occupied by the Israelis.

“Wars between Israel and Palestinians over this always ended in their defeat and so they have turned to terrorist methods for over 30 years.”

The image posted on social media caused many to ring or message the council to complain about the sheets, which the local authority claims were part of an “obsolete” teaching pack.

The coursework “does not pass any judgement on the subject,” it added.

Palestine and Israel have been locked in a dispute over territory for more than 66 years and the most recent war ended in August after 50 days.

At least 2,100 Palestinian people living in the densely-populated Gaza Strip including around 500 children, and 72 Israelis of which most were soldiers, had died during the war last year.

Palestinians flee from Israeli air strikes in Gaza City last year

Dr Essam Hijjawi, chair of the Association of Palestinian Communities in Scotland, said: “It is unbelievable that they are giving 11-year-old pupils information asserting that our struggle for freedom is pure terrorism.”

“We ask that all materials used in schools relating to the teaching of the history of Palestine is discussed between Education Scotland and the Palestinian community,” he added, according to Common Space.

A spokesman for North Lanarkshire Council's Learning and Leisure Services said: “The homework material used was taken from a teaching pack which is now obsolete. We are contacting all schools to ensure this particular material is no longer used.

“The description of Palestinian people is entirely inappropriate and apologise unreservedly for the offence caused.”