Principal at elite NYC middle school encourages students to ‘make their own conclusions’ about Hamas

The principal at New York City’s Trinity Middle School reportedly told parents that he could not be sure that Hamas was a “terrorist organization,” going on to suggest that the students should make their own determinations about the Palestinian group.

Jason Ford’s comments about the status of Hamas comes after the Palestinian group launched a surprise attack against Israel on October 7, killing 1,200 people and abducting 240 more. The Jewish state retaliated by declaring war, executing ground and air missions in Gaza.

While the two sides agreed to a temporary ceasefire at the end of last month, the fighting has resumed. The conflict in the Middle East has resulted in a cultural battle in the West, with students in colleges and universities across the U.S. siding with Hamas and other pro-Palestinian causes. Some of them have even called for violence against Jewish people.

The New York Post reported that Ford, who has worked at the $64,000 per year private school since 2017, made his remarks to parents during a Q&A session last month.

One parent asked: “Are you clear with the kids that Hamas is a terrorist organization? You mentioned they’re a group.” The recording of the session was apparently obtained by the Post.

Ford responded to the parent by stating that “language is important. I have talked to them and said there are ways in which Hamas is viewed as a terrorist organization, part of it is I want it to be the case that they get to make their own conclusions.”

However, it is uncertain how middle school children are supposed to effectively make determinations about a complex conflict such as the war between Israel and Hamas.

Blaze News reported last month that many young people in the U.S. derive many of their anti-Israel positions from TikTok and Instagram, which raises questions about the influence of these social media platforms on middle school children.

While Ford’s comment passed without incident, one parent noted that “[t]his isn’t a close call,” seeming to suggest that designating Hamas as a terrorist organization is not up for debate. A representative for the school said that Trinity Middle School was “clear in its condemnation of Hamas and the attacks on October 7, 2023.”

It is unclear why Ford was not forthcoming with the school’s policy during the parent meeting. The Post noted that the school did not respond to whether they would allow their students to take the same interpretive approach to other groups, such as Al-Qaeda or ISIS.

The report mentioned that Ford did not immediately respond to request for comment.

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