Kindergartens to open an hour late today to protest recent violence

Teachers union reacts to torching of kindergarten classroom and teacher's car near Ashkelon.

A Moshav Heletz kindergarten after it was set on fire 370 (photo credit: Lachish Region firefighters)
A Moshav Heletz kindergarten after it was set on fire 370
(photo credit: Lachish Region firefighters)
The Israeli Teachers Union has decided that kindergartens across the country will open an hour late Thursday morning, in protest of the recent burning of a kindergarten and its teacher’s car.
“The Teachers Union will not tolerate violent behavior, which has no place in an enlightened society, and will not allow harm to the teaching staff who are deeply devoted to the education of children in Israel,” said Yossi Wasserman, the union’s secretary-general.
The kindergarten, attacked earlier this week, was located in Moshav Heletz, near Ashkelon.
According to reports, the teacher whose car was targeted had received threats from parents prior to the incident.
Education Minister Shai Piron condemned the event, calling it a “wrong and criminal act that not only harms property but also endangers that which is most precious to us – the safety of our children.”
The minister spoke with Israel Police Insp.-Gen. Yochanan Danino, and called on authorities to do everything in their power to bring the perpetrators to justice as soon as possible.
Piron also spoke to the teacher, encouraging her to “continue doing the educational work [she has] been doing for years.”
Since the event, the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council has established an emergency team including the council’s welfare and education departments, the kindergarten’s counselor and psychological services, to help the kindergarten’s children, parents and teaching staff.
The emergency team regularly conducts support workshops, provides advice and tools for children with trauma, and works on finding practical solutions for the coming days.
The targeted kindergarten is now undergoing an intense renovation process, in which the local authorities have decided to involve the children through an educational and creative program.
“There is no doubt that all the professional bodies in the council have mobilized and continue to provide support in the process of strengthening the children, parents and educational staff for their emotional health,” said Eli Deutsch, director of the educational psychological department at the council, on Wednesday.
Yair Farjun, head of the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council, added that the council is making “great efforts to enable children to return to their routine calmly and safely.”