High court lets student switch from religious to secular school
High court allows studen
By DAN IZENBERG
The High Court of Justice on Sunday found one good man in Sodom and gave him permission to switch from the state religious junior high school in Shlomi to the Western Galilee state secular regional school.
Fourteen secular families petitioned the High Court against the Ministry of Education and the head of the Shlomi local council after they ordered their children to study at the state religious school. There is no secular post-primary school in the northern town.
Originally, 13 of the 14 families had petitioned the administrative court of the Haifa District Court against the order. The court rejected the petition and told the families that the issue was a matter for the High Court. They, and another family, petitioned the High Court on September 15, three weeks after the original petition had been rejected and two weeks after the school year had begun.
In addition to their request to reject the state's order, the families asked for an interim injunction allowing their children to study at the secular school until the court ruled on the petition.
In its response to the request for an interim injunction, the state informed the court that all of the petitioners except two had managed to enroll their children in the regional state secular school - whether by changing their official address or in some other way is uncertain. Only two families had not done so. Of these, one child had not gone to school at all. The other had obeyed the local authority orders and gone to the state religious junior high school.
Justice Hanan Meltzer, who has presided over the hearings on the request for an interim injunction, ruled that the families had submitted the request too late and therefore rejected it for all of the petitioners except for Saar Katz, the only student who had obeyed the rules and attended the state religious school.
The fate of the other children is yet to be decided. The Ministry of Education has informed the families that it is checking each of their addresses and is considering taking legal measures against the family that kept its child at home.
Meanwhile, Meltzer said that the core of the petition is whether the law makes it possible for a school to be both state religious and state secular at the same time. He pointed out that the school in Shlomi is the only one of its kind in the country.
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