ESL etc.

Global Issues and Activism in English Language Teaching

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Violence Against Teachers / Conscientious Objector Activity

June 17th, 2009 by Dave · No Comments

I came across this very disturbing story today in a post by Bill Templer on IATEFL’s Global Issues Ning.

Yala, Thailand – Suspected Islamic militants shot dead a female Buddhist teacher in Thailand’s troubled south Tuesday in a spiraling uprising against central government authority, police said.

The 56-year-old elementary school teacher was shot in a drive-by attack in restive Yala province as she rode to work on her motorcycle, they said.

The killing comes amid a recent upsurge in violence in the Muslim-majority region bordering Malaysia, where more than 3,700 people have been killed during a bitter five-year insurgency.

The victim was the 117th teacher shot dead since the unrest began in the volatile provinces of Yala, Narathiwat and Pattani in January 2004, said Boonsom Thongsriplai, head of a southern teachers’ confederation.

full story

The fact that 117 teachers have been killed in this province in just 5 years is absolutely mind-boggling, and I absolutely agree with Bill Templer that “solidarity with embattled teachers everywhere is imperative”. He also refers to violence against teachers in Gaza and Afghanistan. I’m not sure how and when to bring these issues into classes, but their importance is enormous. When people are no longer safe to teach and learn, there isn’t much left.

Bill also posted an interesting lesson on conscientious objectors in Israel that uses a video clip and discussion questions.

Update: Human Rights Watch just posted an official condemnation of the killings.

Tags: blog · Buddhism · global issues activities · peace and war · video

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