Palo Alto High School's News and Features Publication

Verde Magazine

Verde Magazine

Verde Magazine

Editorial: School board resolutions appreciated

Kensie Pao
BOARD DELIBERATES — The Palo Alto Unified School District board deliberates at an Oct. 27 special board meeting to discuss two resolutions related to the Israel-Hamas war. “With these resolutions, we are opening ourselves up, I believe, to legitimate criticism in the future that we pick and choose which people to care about and whose lives to value,” board Vice President Jesse Ladomirak said.

The Oct. 7 attack on Israel and the subsequent events unfolding in the Middle East have affected many in our community in broad and deeply personal ways. At both the Oct. 24 and Oct. 27 meetings of the Palo Alto Unified School District board, many of those community members spoke about the personal pain and fear they and their families are feeling as a result.

At the Oct. 27 special board meeting, the board passed two resolutions in response to feedback from community members.These resolutions included denunciations of antisemitism and Islamophobia, and a reiteration of the district’s commitment to fostering a safe environment for all.

We acknowledge and appreciate the efforts of our school board to honor the needs of students and community members affected by the attack and ensuing events in the Middle East. The initial board meeting after the attack took place on Oct. 7, too soon for the board to respond. While some community members were upset that the resolutions came three weeks after the initial attacks, it was important that the board took the time to ensure that the concerns and voices of community members from different backgrounds were heard.

The passage of these resolutions was historic for the board, as it was the first time, at least in recent memory, that the board had taken action on an international event. Board Vice President Jesse Ladomirak, who voted for both resolutions, expressed reservations about the potential implications of this at the Oct. 27 meeting.

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“War and terror and humanitarian crises unfortunately happen constantly across our globe and this board stays silent even
when there are significant local impacts on PAUSD families because it’s not our job to insert ourselves in geopolitics,” Ladomirak said. “With these resolutions, we are opening ourselves up, I believe, to legitimate criticism in the future that we pick and choose which people to care about and whose lives to value.”

While we recognize Ladomirak’s concerns about the potential precedent these resolutions set for the board, the effect the Israel-Hamas war has had on our community — including students — is too significant to ignore, especially as it has raised concerns about the safety of some students on our campuses.

We hope that passing these resolutions will pave the way for future action from the board to further support students impacted by the Israel-Hamas war and continue to fight antisemitism and Islamophobia in our schools.