Submitted by Tammy Gillies
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) firmly opposes Stuart H. Hurlbert’s July 28 letter to the editor of The Coronado Times entitled “Get ADL Out of Coronado and Other Public Schools Now” regarding ADL’s presence in Coronado’s schools with our signature program No Place for Hate®.
We reject Mr. Hurlbert’s assertion that ADL has transformed from a civil rights organization strongly focused on antisemitism to an organization focused on pushing the agenda of the Democratic Party. ADL is a nonpartisan organization with no political affiliation. Our mission has remained the same since 1913: to stop the defamation of the Jewish people, and to secure justice and fair treatment to all.
At ADL, we have long believed that education is the best antidote to hate and bias. This is precisely why we are speaking out against Mr. Hurlbert’s gross mischaracterization and incorrect depiction of our No Place for Hate® educational initiative.
The notion that ADL “forces” students to engage in the No Place for Hate® initiative is entirely false. No Place for Hate® is an educational framework designed to encourage schools to engage in dialogue around diversity and identity, and to create a school climate that is free from bigotry and bullying. Participating schools design their own approach within the framework that would be most suitable for their school community.
To Mr. Hurlbert’s ultimate “conclusions” regarding No Place for Hate®, that ADL and our CEO, Jonathan Greenblatt, are both “ideologically narrow and hyper-partisan” is simply incorrect. In fact, in these incredibly divisive times, we have a responsibility to teach students how to handle hate without politicizing the process. Anti-bias education such as No Place for Hate®, is an essential element of this work.
Second, the claim that No Place for Hate® fosters “contentious, ideological, partisan ideas, prescriptions and misinformation” is erroneous and offensive. Mr. Hurlbert conflates No Place for Hate® with a Critical Race Theory-driven program. While we encourage schools that are interested in learning more about structural racism to pursue those lessons, No Place for Hate® has nothing to do with Critical Race Theory. Trying to clumsily link the two demonstrates a profound lack of understanding of both Critical Race Theory and ADL’s Education programs.
Finally, there is no betrayal or breach of fiduciary duty of educational institutions to partner with a non-profit advocating for equality – not political preferences.
I would be happy to further discuss the No Place for Hate® initiative with The Coronado Times to continue to debunk Mr. Hurlbert’s false claims.
ADL San Diego, Regional Director