CAIR-NJ Condemns Eastern Camden County Regional School District Decision to Cancel Student Walkout for Palestine     

(Newark, NJ, 05/07/2024) — The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization condemned Eastern Regional High School administration’s decision to cancel a student walkout that was pre-approved for April 26th to stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people.

SEE: Controversial “Free Palestine” walkout canceled at Eastern Regional High School in Voorhees)

On April 24th, Eastern Regional High School administration sent out an email to students and parents to notify them that the pre-approved student walkout had been cancelled. Student organizers are expected to work together to have a joint walkout on May 20th despite the school discriminately allowing one student group to have a walkout back on October 13th and cancelling the other group’s walkout last month.

In a statement, CAIR-NJ Executive Director Selaedin Maksutsaid: 

“The school is clearly treating the Muslim and Palestinian students unfairly because of their stance on Palestine. It is a breach of the very principles of free speech and the right to assemble—principles that were respected for students who organized a pro-Israel walkout in October. Equality is a non-negotiable and bare minimum in our educational institutions.” 

“Our educational institutions should encourage critical thinking, civic engagement, and the respectful exchange of ideas. Cancelling a peaceful walkout sends a message that dissenting voices are not welcome—a message that contradicts the very essence of democratic values.”

In a statement, CAIR-NJ Advocacy and Community Relations Coordinator Mousa Naji said: 

“We call upon the superintendent of the Eastern Regional School District to restore the walkout as it was originally intended without delay. It is imperative to honor the tenets of free speech, inclusivity, and open dialogue that form the cornerstone of our educational community. We advocate for the right of students to peacefully express their views, a fundamental aspect of learning and growth.” 

CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

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CONTACT: CAIR-NJ Executive director Selaedin Maksut, smaksut@cair.com, 908-668-5900 ext. 101, 908-267-3119

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