Tamir slams parents who disrespect, threaten teachers

Education Minister's comments came at the fourth annual Conference on Ways of Dealing with Violence in Israeli Society in Eilat.

Education Minister Yuli Tamir spoke out on Thursday against threats issued by parents who didn't get their way, both threats of violence against teachers, and threats to take legal action. These parents, she said, had no respect either for the education system or for the teachers who run it. Tamir spoke at the fourth annual Conference on Ways of Dealing with Violence in Israeli Society in Eilat. "If parents do not respect the teachers then the entire education system will crash," said Tamir to rousing applause from the hundreds of government and police officials gathered at the conference, including Immigrant Absorption Minister Ya'acov Edri and Public Security Minister Avi Dichter. Tamir said that several times a day she was confronted with threats to take legal action from parents who contacted her directly to dispute decisions made by teachers. "It starts with the parents calling me to complain, then I might get a call from friends of the child or even from a journalist asking me for a response," she said. "I always give the same response: I trust the judgment of my staff." Tamir added that she had an entire department that dealt with legal threats from parents unhappy with decisions made by teachers or their principals. "When parents call me, I always ask them, 'How many times a year do you tell your children to respect their teachers compared to how many times you tell them that the teacher is an idiot?'" she told the conference. "Children have a right to learn but we also stand behind our teachers, and that includes the punishments they hand out." Tamir went on to talk about the successes and challenges of the City of Non-Violence program - currently operating in 12 cities - and how it is implemented in the education system.