Teaneck High School Students in the Struggle for Palestine: NJ Youth Journey Toward Free Palestine Second in Series

This is the second of a series of youth voices about their “Journey Toward Free Palestine”.  We aim to provide the participant view of those youth on the ground that did the work to establish a statewide network that was able to act in concert on Friday February 8th with over a dozen student and youth coordinated actions around the state of NJ.  This contribution is from one of the coordinators of Teaneck high school student protest who led one of the successful protests that day and has otherwise been organizing as part of a collective of other area groups toward these goals.  Read and celebrate this historic development in NJ! Ed.

The following is from one of the student coordinators,  They never adopted a formal name but the author stated we can make reference to their effort as: Teaneck Students For Palestine

After October 7th, I began hearing so much propaganda and misinformation spreading all around my town-Teaneck and all around the world. It really upset me that people only saw one side, and just formed an opinion off of that. They didn’t know that Palestine has been occupied for over 75 years, and October 7th was the Palestinians trying to defend themselves. Resistance is justified when people are occupied. I felt like I needed to do something about it, I wanted to educate my peers, I wanted people to be on the right side of history.

When Teaneck, the town I grew up in, passed a resolution stating they stand with Israel, I really couldn’t take it anymore. That is such a dehumanizing, silencing and one sided resolution and it caused a lot of division in Teaneck. That was my last straw, I knew I had to show Teaneck Township that a huge number of Teaneck residents completely disagree with this resolution.

Back in November 29th, one of my best friends and I decided to organize a walkout for Palestine –  A walkout to show that the students of Teaneck High School want a ceasefire, an end to the Israeli occupation and a free Palestine. Our walkout was a great success and we don’t regret any part of it. Although we got so much backlash, death threats and hate, we knew we were doing the right thing and we weren’t going to let anyone silence us. During the walkout, we had an educational teach-in about the history of Palestine and how the occupation began. We marched to the town hall chanting for these Palestinians human rights. We got to the town hall where we had a couple of speeches given by different organizations. I was very glad that I was able to educate the students at Teaneck High School.

My organizing partner and I were in contact with other high schools who recently held walkouts. They were helping us through our walkout and telling us their experience with it. We realized many schools in New Jersey held successful walkouts, so how powerful would it be if we all did something on the same day. It would make a very big statement and show that the students really care about this humanitarian issue.

From February 9 Teaneck student walk out:  “WE ARE THE STUDENTS OF TEANECK!”

We planned this big day, February 9th, for a couple weeks. It was also a great success. Over 10 high schools and universities all around New Jersey were involved in this statewide day of action. Our marches were calling for New Jersey to stop using our tax money to fund this genocide. We were calling for a ceasefire and an end to the Israeli occupation. The students of the world stand with Palestine. We are not afraid to speak up for the voiceless. We will not stop until Palestine is free.

Many members of Teaneck have been accusing us of being anti-Semitic before and after we planned these pro Palestinian events. They claim that we divided the town when the town has been divided forever, especially when Teaneck put out their dehumanizing resolution. We will not let these accusations get to us because we know what we did and why we did it. We know that we’re standing with human rights and if you think there’s a problem with that then you’re the problem.