Judge cancels indictment against striking parents

Criminal indictments against 41 Haifa parents, who have not sent their children to school since September, were dismissed Tuesday by the Haifa Magistrate's Court on the grounds that the summons had not been served legally. However, Sawsan Zaher, attorney for the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, who is representing the parents of Hiwar, Israel's only democratic Arab school, said this was not the end of the battle with the Haifa Municipality. The parents claim that the municipality is trying to change the nature of the school and force them to use a sub-standard building. Since September, the children have been learning in an ad hoc, private framework set up by the striking parents. The Haifa Municipality says that the building meets Education Ministry standards and has repeatedly asked the parents to return their children to the school.