Newton Threatened with Curriculum Lawsuit

By Todd Feinburg

Published May 19, 2016, issue of May 19, 2016.

The City of Newton is apparently being threatened with a lawsuit from Judicial Watch, the organization whose litigation led to the release of the emails from the private server used by Hillary Clinton when she was Secretary of State.

Judicial Watch, in a letter from the group’s Senior Investigator to Newton’s City Solicitor says it has been trying since last August to get documents released by the city “relating to teaching materials used in the Newton Public Schools for the teaching of Islam and the Arab-Israeli conflict.”

The curriculm materials of concern include a book entitled “The Arab World Studies Notebook,” according to Dr. Charles Jacobs, who heads the group Americans for Peace and Tolerance in Boston. Jacobs, who says the “egregious” book was produced by Saudi Arabia and “taught people that Jews in Israel murder Arab women in Israeli jails.”

Jacobs says that his group tried for over a year to get the book removed from the Newton schools but met resistance from superintendent David Fleischman. “After a year or two fighting to get that removed, he finally removed it,” claimed Jacobs, “falsely saying that he did so not because it’s Saudi funded hate literature against Jews, which it is, but he said he removed it because it was outdated.”

One of the concerns for taxpayers, argues Jacobs, is that getting entangled in a lawsuit with Judicial Watch, “which has been successful at dislodging government documents from recalcitrant government agencies,” could get expensive.

A letter from Judicial Watch to Newton’s City Solicitor concerning the school curriculum.
A letter from Judicial Watch to Newton’s City Solicitor concerning the school curriculum.

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