Parents claim Dickinson ISD teacher singled out daughter to make pro-Palestinian comments

Dickinson ISD is now investigating complaints from a parent over an allegedly antisemitic incident involving a teacher and their Israeli daughter.

Early Thursday morning, Talya Hayoun, a freshman at Dickinson High School says she walked into her English class to find this message written on the board. It said, "No justice, no peace. Justice for Palestine." 

Talya, who is Israeli, said the message was not part of a lesson but rather, believes it was an opportunity for the teacher to insert her opinion about the war. 

She said the teacher proceeded to ask her where she was from. 

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"She said, ‘Oh, you still have family in Israel?’ I said, 'Yes, of course. All my family is over there. And I'm from there too,'" Talya said. 

Talya says the incident made her 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," Talya said. 

"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," said Benjamin Hayoun, the teen's father. 

 Talya’s parents believe it was inappropriate for the teacher to single out their daughter in order to make a political statement to a classroom of 14-year-olds.

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On Thursday, they filed a complaint with Dickinson ISD police and with the 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, the teen's stepmom. 

In a 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."