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Press Release

NEA President: “In the face of the dangerous rise in anti-Jewish and anti-Muslim bigotry and violence, we all should meet the moment and forcefully condemn hate.”

As students, educators, and communities continue to grapple with the events in the Middle East – along with the increase of antisemitism and Islamophobia in the United States and across the globe, National Education Association President Becky Pringle released the following statement.
Published: October 17, 2023

National Education Association President Becky Pringle released the following statement:

“All people, no matter their religion, the language they speak, or their place of birth, have a fundamental right to live free of violence and war. The horror of what Hamas terrorists did can never be justified, and we condemn their attack on civilians that led to the brutal and massive loss of life, the kidnapping of innocent people, and the shattering of so many lives. As the death toll and humanitarian crisis mounts in Gaza leaving children and families in an increasingly deadly and desperate situation, we call for a renewed sense of urgency in resolving this ongoing conflict that has led to the inhumane violence facing the Israeli and Palestinian people.

“As I watch and read the news coverage, I think of the faces of the beautiful children, educators, and communities from my visit to the region. I stand with the inspirational communities I've met and with all the Israeli and Palestinian people caught in the middle of this unimaginable conflict. I add my dreams to theirs and hope for a secure, lasting, and just peace where everyone can live in their truth and flourish.

“In light of recent events in the U.S., we are long overdue for a serious conversation about the rise in both antisemitism and Islamophobia on campuses and across our society. Over the last several years, the Jewish and Muslim communities have seen major spikes in hate crimes and experienced increased hate. Since Donald Trump tried to ban Muslims from entering America and cheered on neo-Nazis chanting ‘Jews will not replace us’ in Charlottesville, the rise in antisemitism, racism, and Islamophobia has been staggering and too often violent.

“In the face of the dangerous rise in anti-Jewish and anti-Muslim bigotry and violence, we all should meet the moment and forcefully condemn hate. Educators have a professional responsibility to teach inclusion and respect for different beliefs and religions. We also have a moral imperative to educate people about antisemitism, Islamophobia, and about how to support Jewish and Muslim students and communities. This includes working with allies to create the necessary space to have these conversations and drive meaningful change. 

“While the current climate in this region of the world is one that exacerbates challenges and makes solutions elusive, we must hold fast to our ability to hope and the courage to act. And I believe that if there is a belief in the plausibility of the possible—hope—it must be seeded and nurtured in the young people trying to find a way to live, learn, work, play, and find peace. Together.”


In response to member requests for classroom materials, NEA curated a number of helpful resources to help educators address the ongoing conflict and support students in the classroom.


The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators, students preparing to become teachers, healthcare workers, and public employees. Learn more at 

National Education Association

Great public schools for every student

The National Education Association (NEA), the nation's largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause of public education. NEA's 3 million members work at every level of education—from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliate organizations in every state and in more than 14,000 communities across the United States.