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The Kiryat Gat Municipality announced Sunday that schools and kindergartens in the city would open as usual, and that teachers, administrators, and security guards were expected at work, notwithstanding threats by the city's parents' association to hold a school strike in protest of safety violations in schools that have allegedly not been addressed.
Parents' association chairman Felix Partuk told Israel Radio that the bathroom ceiling in one school collapsed. Partuk also said that the sand in some 48 nursery school sandboxes had not been changed as required.
"We gave warning before the school year opened," Partuk said. "The mayor promised to take care of it, but nothing has been done."
Kiryat Gat mayor Aviram Dahari said that the city was working on the problems cited and there was no reason to close the schools. Dahari added his suspicion that the strike was motivated by political considerations.
The school district, meanwhile, said that no excuses would be made for pupils who claim that they missed material because of the strike.
The Education Ministry, which condemned the strike, said that money had been transferred to the Kiryat Gat Municipality over the summer to make the required repairs, but that it was the city's responsibility to implement them.