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The Tattler

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UPDATED: The Ripples of the Israel-Hamas Conflict

“I think that Montgomery County is not only ignoring it, but they are not condemning this violence by their lack of communication” 
Posters+regarding+the+Israel-Palestine+conflict+are+stapled+to+a+lamp+post+on+the+corner+of+East+West+Highway+and+Chelton+Road.
Jonah Peters
Posters regarding the Israel-Palestine conflict are stapled to a lamp post on the corner of East West Highway and Chelton Road.

On Oct. 7, Hamas launched an attack on Israel. The following day, Israel declared war against Hamas. As Israel and Hamas continue to battle, the B-CC community has felt the ripple effect of these tragic, ongoing events.

MCPS Superintendent Monifa McKnight sent a community message to MCPS families on Oct. 11 regarding the recent conflict. She warned parents about photos and videos from the conflict circulating on social media. “We are all aware that such content is intended to amplify fear and can cause great emotional harm,” said McKnight in her email. 

Several students have expressed their concerns regarding the way in which MCPS has responded to the conflict. Junior Phoebe Lewis said, “I think that Montgomery County is not only ignoring it, but they are not condemning this violence by their lack of communication.” 

Some teachers have made it a point to acknowledge the impact of the conflict on students and to spend class time raising awareness among students. Ms. Rizas, a teacher in the social studies department at B-CC, gave a presentation to her classes aimed at educating her students on the events. Rizas highlighted, “As a school system MCPS needs to do what they can to make their students feel safe and comfortable in a learning environment.” 

The morning after the initial attacks on Israel, the B-CC administration shared a bank of online resources with staff. This provided suggestions for leading age-appropriate discourse on the topic of war, links to articles on the conflict for teachers’ edification, and emotional support opportunities for students.

Sara Zemikel, a junior at B-CC described a situation in which several students from the JSU strongly requested to have a dialogue between the MSA and JSU. However, she said, “This further pushes the idea that this is a Muslim versus Jewish battle. Not everyone who is Muslim is from Palestine,” said Zemikel. Mabrouk expressed her hope for a more balanced representation in the stories being shared about the conflict. “All my teachers have just mentioned that some of us who are Israelis are grieving. They have never mentioned Palestine. It is disrespectful and a harmful narrative,” said Mabrouk. 

The Jewish Student Union held a meeting during lunch on Oct. 12 as an open discussion for students. Junior Olivia Zaft attended the meeting and said, “So far, only one of my teachers has even acknowledged what happened, and it is incredibly hard for me as a Jewish student to continue learning and working without any regard for or acknowledgment of what has happened.” 

On Oct. 22, the JSU partnered with the Jewish Culture Club to host a bake sale in downtown Bethesda to raise funds for humanitarian aid in Israel. They collected thousands of dollars in aid.

Students in the Muslim Student Association (MSA) originally expressed trepidation about publicly posting support for the Palestinian community. MSAs around the county have received numerous complaints from parents after taking their views to Instagram. Dina Mabrouk, vice president of the MSA, explained at the time, that “If we were to post something, we feel we would get a lot of threats to take it down.”  Despite the initial hesitance, Renim Risku, MSA president and founder, noted, “We have held two separate meetings regarding the war to educate the community on the history and media bias as well as other topics of discussion that were going around the war.” 

B-CC Principal, Dr. Mooney wants to ensure staff and students feel safe and comfortable. “For any student, or staff member, if you know that something is bothering you, you don’t need to deal with that alone,” said Mooney. 

 

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About the Contributors
Bennett Galper
Bennett Galper, Section Director
Bennett Galper, a B-CC junior, is a section director who specializes in News. He also serves as the Editor-in-Chief of The Amplifier, Montgomery County's student magazine that publishes twice a year. When out of season with the B-CC Golf Team, Galper spends half his time hyphenating “B-CC” and the other half arguing with fellow Tattler members that it should be hyphenated.
Hannah Brooker
Hannah Brooker, Staff Reporter
Hannah Brooker, a BCC Junior, is a writer for the Tattler. Hannah plays for the BCC Field Hockey and Lacrosse team. In her free time, Hannah enjoys hanging out with her friends and family.
Jonah Peters
Jonah Peters, Staff Photographer
Jonah Peters is a senior and does photography for the Tattler. This is his first official year on the Tattler (although he unofficially took photos for them the previous year as well). In his free time he plays guitar, tennis, and also does his own photography.

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