Teachers from a school in Neviot, who created a group chat making fun of their Ethiopian students, will be allowed to continue teaching.
The teachers were made to attend a hearing, where it was decided that they could continue teaching and their status would be reviewed in the next academic year.
The Ministry of Education's hearing
District director Ram Zahavi said that he" regret[ted] the incident in which several female students were hurt due to the improper conduct of teachers during an annual trip.”
“We conducted a thorough and comprehensive inquiry with the teachers as well as a hearing, at the end of which we used the disciplinary tools available to us,” Zahavi added, ”I emphasized to the teachers that there is no place for offensive and racist discourse in Israeli society in general and in the education system in particular and that we must be a personal example in this regard.'
Zahavi promised that “towards the next academic year, the supervisory team will examine the suitability of the teachers involved to perform duties within the educational institution.”
Response to the decision
MK Pnina Tamano-Shata (National Unity Party) responded that "The decision of the Ministry of Education is humiliating, and is an acceptance and a green light for racism. Their decision adds sin to crime.”
She added that “The teachers and educators who participated in the celebration of racism against female students from Ethiopian descent, should be removed from the field of education, and should have their teaching license revoked.”
“The State of Israel does not need racist teachers. This is the message that the Ministry of Education was supposed to convey, but it seems that it succumbed to foreign pressures.”
“I demand that the Minister of Education Yoav Kish, who condemned the case, intervene and make sure that justice is done immediately."
Alleged culture of racism at the school
The teachers opened the group chat, entitled “Black School Trip,” is just a drop in the ocean of the school’s racist culture, alleged some of the students.
A 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.”
Almost half (48%) of the 458 racist incidents reported in 2021 were against Arab or Ethiopian Israelis, according to a report by the Justice Ministry’s Government Unit for Coordinating the Struggle Against Racism.
4% of the reported racist incidents occurred within an educational setting.
Yonah Jeremy Bob and Ariella Marsden contributed to this report.