Teachers, parents call for strike if Peretz not fired

Some 3,000 teachers signed a petition calling for Peretz to be fired and threatened to stop working until this happens.

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July 15, 2019 22:04
1 minute read.
Teachers, parents call for strike if Peretz not fired

Israel's Education minister Rafi Peretz arrives to attend the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem. (photo credit: MENAHEM KAHANA / REUTERS)

Teachers, school principals, teachers associations and activists have all called either for Education Minister Rabbi Rafi Peretz to retract his comments that gay conversion therapy can be effective, or that he be fired.

Some 3,000 teachers signed a petition calling for Peretz to be fired and threatened to stop working until this happens, Channel 12 News reported.

In addition, the Gay Teachers in Israel organization called for the Education Ministry to publish regulations banning teachers from referring pupils to therapists who conduct conversion therapy.

The Education Administration of Tel Aviv published a letter signed by 72 elementary school principals in the secular, religious, Arab and special education systems accusing Peretz of expressing a position that was “exclusionary, discriminatory, racist and [expressed] hatred of others.”

The education minister has been condemned for his remarks with numerous public figures calling for his dismissal, although he claims that his words were distorted and that he never said he was in favor of such therapy.

“We see in our daily work how conversion therapy causes irreversible emotional damage for those forced to go through it,” the Gay Teachers in Israel organization wrote in a statement. “We call on the education minister to retract his comments, to apologize, and to prove on the ground, from a budgetary and educational perspective, that he is truly fitting to be entrusted with the central position of educating our children.”

The teachers said that they would use “every legal means available” to protest Peretz’s comments.

“If the minister is not removed from his position, we will call on teachers and principals to go on strike at the beginning of the year,” Channel 12 News reported the organization as stating.

Another 18,000 people signed an online position calling for Peretz to be fired.

“We will not send our children on September 1 to an education system headed by Rabbi Peretz,” they wrote.


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