Educators Offer Resources, Tips for Helping Children Understand Conflict in Middle East

Middle east conflict
An Israeli woman holds the hand of an infant at the entrance to a bomb shelter as rockets from Gaza are launched towards Israel in Ashkelon, southern Israel October 8. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

The San Diego County Office of Education is offering resources to discuss the conflict in the Middle East with students of all ages.

In a statement, the office noted that California is home to students and staff with cultural ties to both Israel and Palestine, and has seen a rise in antisemitic and Islamophobic incidents even before Saturday’s attack of Israel by Hamas, which has renewed aggressions in the Middle East.

“As educators, we must make sure we provide a safe space for all members of our community to learn about current events and process their emotions,” officials said in the statement.

The office has guides for addressing antisemitic and Islamophobic behavior. Other teaching resources include:

Some topics educators may consider adapting for students, the office said, include:

  • Impact of U.S. geopolitical issues and the extent of the country’s obligation to respond
  • The role and authority of the president
  • The president’s policy options for responding to this type of crisis
  • The lasting impacts of historical conflict in the Middle East, and
  • The human costs of war and conflict

Some students upset by the conflict also may require the guidance and safety of adults in homes and schools. Resources for kids of all ages include: