Teachers strike to protest parent violence

Educators protest violence against school staff; Yuli Tamir backs teachers, blames police.

yuli tamir 248.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
yuli tamir 248.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Teachers in junior high and high schools held a one-hour strike on Tuesday, beginning classes at 9 a.m. to protest violence against teachers. The strike was prompted by a case on Monday that teachers organizations cited as the last straw in a long string of incidents. In Monday's incident, the principal of a religious school in Kiryat Gat was allegedly attacked by a student's father. The principal had requested that the girl change her skirt to a longer one, on grounds of modesty. The father allegedly grabbed the woman and smashed her head against a wall three times before she managed to escape. She was hospitalized with minor injuries and was reportedly very shaken by the incident. Education Minister Yuli Tamir expressed her support for the teachers' strike. She blamed police for the violence against teachers, because "it usually takes a long time to bring a violent parent to justice." The Kiryat Gat father was indicted on Tuesday. Tamir said his quick indictment was an exception to the rule. However, the head of the Secondary School Teachers Organization, Ran Erez, chose to focus criticism on the Education Ministry. He said the organization and the ministry had formulated a code of conduct for teachers, but it had never been published. Tamir rejected the accusation, saying that "this or that pamphlet" wasn't to blame for the incident, but "parents crossing all red lines and police who are reluctant to file complaints and serve indictments."