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  • PHOTOS: Amid rubble and trauma, Gaza goes back to school

    With displaced families still living in some schools, and despite severe damage to classrooms, Gaza's children return to school after a summer of Israeli bombardment. Photos by: Anne Paq and Basel Yazouri/ Text by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler Despite damaged classrooms and destroyed schools, Gaza’s school year began this week after delays due to the recent Israeli offensive known as Operation Protective Edge. According to Gaza Education Ministry official Ziad Thabet, the first weeks of classes will focus on recreational activities and psychological counseling to help children recover from the trauma sustained during this summer’s attacks. During the seven weeks of…

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  • An education in inequality for East Jerusalem's children

    The number of classrooms, the availability of counselors and the numbers of dropout prevention programs constitute a grievous violation of the right to education for tens of thousands of Palestinian schoolchildren in Jerusalem. By Betty Herschman In cities around the world, most parents agonize about their kids’ first day of school. They worry about whether their kids will connect with their teachers. They worry about bullying. Mostly they anguish over the quality of education their child will receive and whether it will prepare them for a productive life beyond their school years. In East Jerusalem, mothers and fathers worry about…

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  • Kids' wars: Bullying, now and then

    "She’s stupid and ugly!" shouted one of my third graders in an outburst of rage and tears. She sat hunched over, fuming, pointing her back directly at another of my students who had wronged her in some mysterious way I didn’t manage to understand. "Shut your face!" retorted the supposed perpetrator. In these moments, which happen about once every other class, I remember that childhood can really suck sometimes. Being the responsible adult in the room, I want to help diffuse this tension that has engulfed two of my students. I tell them that those comments are unacceptable, that they…

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