Israeli teachers open racist WhatsApp group, mock Ethiopian students

The teachers opened a WhatsApp group on a school trip which they titled Black [Girls] School Trip.

 Illustrative image of a woman texting. (photo credit: PXHERE)
Illustrative image of a woman texting.
(photo credit: PXHERE)

Teachers from a school in Netivot opened a racist WhatsApp group Sunday in which they allegedly gossiped and laughed about their Ethiopian students.

The students departed for a school trip on Sunday, and the girls sitting behind the teachers on the bus noticed their teachers texting in the group called “Black [Girls] School Trip.”

The girls who saw this took photos and videos and shared them with the rest of the class.

One of the girls sent out a message to the teachers admonishing them for their racism.

“Good morning to all the ‘educators’ in this bitter school,” she wrote. “I am so sad as a member of the [Ethiopian] community to see the level you sank to today. Instead of being our teachers and setting an example and making us feel like we’re in our safest place, you did the exact opposite. Opening a group called ‘Black School Trip’ without even realizing that there were students behind you and mocking your students? I see the photos, and I just don’t believe that they come from our teachers. You are a disgrace, I’m ashamed that you’re our teachers and that you’re teaching the future generation.”

Whatsapp logo is seen in this illustration taken August 22, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/DADO RUVIC/ILLUSTRATION/FILE PHOTO)Whatsapp logo is seen in this illustration taken August 22, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/DADO RUVIC/ILLUSTRATION/FILE PHOTO)

“You are a disgrace, I'm ashamed that you're our teachers and that you're teaching the future generation.”


The sister of one of the students told Maariv that “They were on the way to a three-day trip when my sister suddenly called me. She was really upset and said that the teachers opened an insulting WhatsApp group about the students. We asked them to forward us the photos. The girls are very offended and cannot continue with the trip so we demanded that they be returned home.”

Following the incident, the teachers chaperoning the trip were replaced, and those involved in the group apologized.

Another student’s mother told KAN that this wasn’t the first instance of the school exhibiting racism.

“Some girls were told they couldn’t go on the trip because of behavior problems, and those girls are Ethiopian,” she said. “On the other hand, another student, who isn’t Ethiopian, also has behavior issues and was allowed to go.”

School management, Education Ministry condemn the incident

The school’s principal made a statement on the incident, saying that “this morning, we were witnesses, to our shock and devastation, to miserable and extremely offensive comments from teachers about Ethiopian students who study in the school. The school management looks at these comments severely. There is no place for racist comments, and we won’t allow them in our school.”

He added that as soon as the school heard of the incident, it notified the municipality and the Education Ministry.

In response to the incident, the ministry said in a statement that “this was a very severe incident that cannot become commonplace. The involved teachers will be summoned for a hearing at the earliest convenience.”

Education Minister Yoav Kisch said in a statement on Sunday night that “there’s no room for racism and discrimination in the State of Israel and, of course, in the education system. The teachers need to set an example on the subject. The incident will be dealt with severely with all the tools at our disposal. I’m sorry for the distress that was caused for the students. There will be zero tolerance for these sorts of incidents on my watch.”

MK Pnina Tamano-Shata added that “a teacher is an educational figure who is supposed to set a good example and express values of tolerance. It’s sad to see teachers behave differently. This is an opportunity to give the students who look to decision-makers a message of zero tolerance of racism. I would like to send my appreciation to the smart and brave students who chose not to let the incident pass in silence.”