Main Photo: Benjamin Hayoun consoles his daughter Talya Hayoun after antisemitic attack from her high school teacher.
BREAKING: HOUSTON, TX– A fourteen-year-old Israeli girl feels “targeted and alone” following a shocking, antisemitic incident in her English class at Dickinson High School. The culprit? Her own teacher.
Last Thursday morning, Talya Hayoun, a freshman, walked into her English class to find a message written on the whiteboard. It read, “No justice, no peace. #Justice for Palestine.”
Hayoun, who is Israeli, says that the message was not part of a class lesson. She believes it was an opportunity for her teacher to insert her political opinion about the Israel-Hamas war into the classroom and steer students.
The teacher proceeded to ask Hayoun where she was from, she said.
“She said, ‘Oh, you have family in Israel?’ I said, ‘Yes, of course. All my family is over there. And I’m from there too,’” Hayoun told Fox 26 Houston.
As the sole Israeli student at her school, the incident made Hayoun feel “targeted and alone.”
“I’m really, really scared. I’m the only Israeli at school. No one is Jewish over there. They made me feel guilty that I’m Jewish and that I’m from Israel,” she said.
A video obtained by Fox 26 Houston revealed heartbreaking footage of the young girl’s father, Benjamin Hayoun, consoling his child and vowing to protect her.
“Don’t [be] afraid. I [will] defend you,” Benjamin promised Talya, who was sobbing.
“What is the benefit here? What is the purpose here? Someone needs to take responsibility here about this situation here because my daughter, she is not at fault that she is Israeli,” Benjamin said.
Talya’s parents believe that it was highly inappropriate for a teacher to single out their daughter in order to make a political statement to a classroom of high school freshmen.
Later that day, in light of the incident, her parents filed a complaint with the Dickinson ISD police unit and with the high school’s principal.
“If I go to school for the teacher to teach me, everything she says is true and is right. It doesn’t matter; it’s true and it’s right. She’s the adult and I have to believe what she says. This is where the bullies start coming in,” said Natasha Hayoun, Talya’s stepmother.
In essence, teachers hold extensive authority over the malleable brains of children and teens. Talya’s English teacher abused this power to serve their own political or personal agendas, and her impressionable peers were steered to bully Talya for simply being born Israeli. This inflicts lasting damage upon Talya and her sense of self, cultural background and identity.
Further, the teacher’s actions jeopardized the development of Talya’s peers-turned-bullies, who aren’t being told how to think, but what to think. Each moment in a child and teen’s life is an opportunity to influence their growing and molding minds, solidifying who they will become in adulthood.
Children and teens possess a limited ability to determine which of their ideas are their own, verses which were forced or manipulated upon them. Brainwashing-rooted ideas tend to become a child’s perception of what they truly believe.
Of course, the teacher and others like them aren’t naive to child psychology or the true power of educators. Incidents which abuse these elements are strategic indoctrinations.
Due to the malleable nature of children and the true purpose of the public education system, the Texas Administrative Code has a specific code regarding instances like these:
An “educator shall not intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly treat a student or a minor in a manner that adversely affects or endangers the learning, physical health, mental health, or safety of the student or minor.”
Dickinson ISD, located in southeast Greater Houston in Galveston County, is now investigating the complaint from Talya’s parents.
In a public statement, a spokesperson with the district said, “Dickinson ISD is aware of a situation on Thursday morning involving a Dickinson High School English teacher who parents have said wrote a statement on the board related to the Israeli and Palestine war. The parents have met with high school administration, and the district is investigating the situation.”
“Leftwing teachers in Texas’ government schools seem to spend an inordinate amount of time inserting their politics into the classroom,” Michael Quinn Sullivan of Texas Scorecard posted on X, formerly Twitter.
“But, of course, you are not allowed to call it indoctrination, and the #GOP-dominated #TxLege wants to dump BILLIONS of unaccountable dollars into their laps.”