Israeli student hits teacher with brass knuckles in Abu Gosh high school, arrested

The school closed shortly after the incident and will remain closed on Tuesday morning, the Israeli Teachers' Union announced.

 Israeli police officers secure a Jewish school following recent clashes between jewish and Arab residents of Lod, in the central Israeli city of Lod, May 23, 2021 (photo credit: FLASH90)
Israeli police officers secure a Jewish school following recent clashes between jewish and Arab residents of Lod, in the central Israeli city of Lod, May 23, 2021
(photo credit: FLASH90)

A 17-year-old student attacked his teacher with brass knuckles, leaving him hospitalized, prompting the high school in Abu Gosh, near Jerusalem, to shut down on Monday.

The school closed shortly after the incident and will remain closed on Tuesday morning, the Israeli Teachers' Union announced in response to the violent incident in Abu Gosh.

According to Israeli reports familiar with the incident, an initial altercation between the student and teacher occurred a few days prior to the attack.

Student takes revenge after teacher catches him cheating

The teacher was asked to supervise students, including the 17-year-old, as they took matriculation (bagrut) exams. During the exams, the teacher caught the student attempting to copy off of another student and prevented him from completing the test.

On Monday morning, the student reportedly attempted to enter the school to confront the teacher but was stopped at the entrance by the school's security guard. The 17-year-old eventually jumped over the fence and into the school, which was mostly empty due to matriculation exams being held at the time.

 Police officers guard the entrance to a school in Rehovot, where a boy studying at the school was stabbed by 4 masked men, December 13, 2022. (credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/FLASH90) Police officers guard the entrance to a school in Rehovot, where a boy studying at the school was stabbed by 4 masked men, December 13, 2022. (credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/FLASH90)

Once on school premises, the student then proceeded to search for the teacher across the school before beating him with brass knuckles. He was also found to have been carrying pepper spray in his backpack.

Following the attack, the student was arrested by police, who wrote in a statement that they will "continue to act against those involved in violent incidents on school premises and otherwise."

A huge spike in classroom violence across Israel

In the last few years, a huge spike in violence was observed in Israeli schools and educational institutions, according to an Ono Academic College study conducted last year.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic in Israel, 60% of students reported increased ostracism from fellow students and 38% reported recently encountered violence, as per the study. In addition, school faculty reported increasing violence among students as well, with 57% reporting recent encounters with violence at their schools and 49% reporting that violence increased following the coronavirus lockdowns of 2020 and 2021.

An incident earlier in January involved a primary school in Beersheba where a third grader hit one of the teachers and was involved in several violent outbursts directed at his peers. According to the spokesperson for the Teachers' Union, the staff at the Yosef Karo school were afraid to come to work.

Earlier this month, the Ort Israel network of schools halted regular studies in more than 200 of their schools across the country in protest, instead educating the students on necessary measures that can be taken when observing violence in education.