From the Sun-Sentinel-
Ben Gamla Charter School stopped teaching Hebrew on Thursday, the day after school officials vowed to continue the language lessons.The review of the language programs Ben Gamla was planning to use, are to be done by Hebrew Professor hired by the school board.
The Broward School Board on Tuesday ordered the bilingual charter school to suspend its Hebrew curriculum pending more review.
But the Hollywood school refused and continued its language lessons Wednesday.Another Sun-Sentinel article tells us more. Including that the agreement the charter school with the school board, allows the teaching of Hebrew.
On Thursday, however, Ben Gamla officials conceded and stopped.
(Peter)Deutsch and (School Attorney)Rassbach said the School Board did not have the authority to shelve the language curriculum. The charter school was approved in May, and debate has mounted since.Hebrew is the national language of Israel and spoken in only a few other places. The language is closely associated with Judaism. The Torah, the most important document in the religion, is in Hebrew. Is teaching Hebrew therefore a teaching of religion?
Charter school representatives were at Tuesday's meeting to amend its curriculum for the third time to satisfy the School Board.
But the board put off approving the new language program until it could be scrutinized by a Hebrew professor hired to help monitor the school. With the backing of the full board, Beverly Gallagher, the board's chairwoman, suggested Ben Gamla teach only reading, writing and arithmetic until a Hebrew curriculum could be found that both sides agree on.
Rassbach said the board's deferment meant lessons previously approved must now be used to teach the 400 students attending the kindergarten through eighth-grade school.
Even though board members complained, they approved language programs in May and again in July saying they had few other options.
I'm not Jewish, and the only language I speak is English. To my untrained eye, I wouldn't see the teaching of Hebrew to also mean you're also teaching Judaism. Though if I had to guess many if not most of the students at the school are of the Jewish faith. What's the parents opinion of this controversy? I guess the School board could be conducting an exercise in CYA in order to stymie potential lawsuits.
Its always been my opinion that foreign languages should be taught in public schools, preferably at a young age. For I admire people who can speak more than one, like a Polish priest friend of mine who can converse in Polish, German, English and Latin of course. My Philippine born wife speaks Tagalog(Filipino), two of its dialects(Waray and Cebuano) in addition. Here I am barely able to put two sentences together in English. I guess I'm a dumb one.
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