Humboldt County Office of Education: Resources for Discussion about War and Conflict

Resources for Talking about War and Conflict

Portrait of Michael Davies-Hughes

A Message from the Superintendent

May 2024

Dear Humboldt County Community,

In these tumultuous times, it is imperative for both educators and families to access suitable resources facilitating meaningful dialogues with students regarding the events unfolding in Israel and Gaza.

Within Humboldt County reside students and staff who may harbor profound emotional responses to current developments, compounded by prior exposure to escalating instances of Antisemitic and Islamophobic acts. As educators, our objective is to foster a secure and inclusive environment where all members of our community can engage with contemporary issues and navigate their feelings. During the past few days, we have witnessed a determined effort by students at Cal Poly Humboldt to express their frustrations and discontent with the conflict in Gaza while struggling with how to do this without running afoul of the law.

In today’s digital age, our students are bombarded with an overwhelming amount of information, much of which may be inaccurate or biased. This is especially true when it comes to complex and sensitive topics like the ongoing conflicts in Israel and Gaza. The proliferation of graphic imagery and footage depicting violence can further complicate matters, particularly for young minds already grappling with trauma or exposure to violence.

As educators, parents, and caregivers, we are tasked with the challenging responsibility of navigating these conversations with our students. While discussing violence and warfare with children is undoubtedly difficult, it is also incredibly important. These discussions not only help students make sense of current events but also contribute to shaping their understanding of history and fostering a commitment to peace.

To support you in this endeavor, we have compiled a list of resources aimed at providing students with a sense of security and a deeper understanding of the global landscape. These resources have been carefully selected to ensure they are age-appropriate and accessible, empowering you to guide your students through these complex topics in a thoughtful and informed manner.

Thank you for your dedication to nurturing informed and empathetic young minds.


Resources for Humboldt Schools – April 29, 2024

Southern Poverty Law Center – Learning for Justice

Additional information about this resource:  The Social Justice Standards are a road map for anti-bias education at every stage of K-12 instruction. Comprised of anchor standards and age-appropriate learning outcomes, the standards provide a common language and organizational structure educators can use to guide curriculum development and make schools more just and equitable.

Divided into four domains—identity, diversity, justice and action (IDJA)—the standards recognize that, in today’s diverse classrooms, students need knowledge and skills related to both prejudice-reduction and collective action. Together, these domains represent a continuum of engagement in anti-bias, multicultural and social justice education. The IDJA domains are based on Louise Derman-Sparks’ four goals for anti-bias education in early childhood.

Each of the IDJA domains has learning outcomes and school-based scenarios organized by grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12.

    ADL – Anti Defamation League

      US Department of Education

      Please note this section: Protections under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act

      On November 7, OCR released a Dear Colleague letter reminding PreK-12 schools and institutions of higher education of their legal obligations under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI) to provide all students, including students who are or are perceived to be Jewish, Israeli, Muslim, Arab, or Palestinian, a school environment free from discrimination based on race, color, or national origin.