Ministry condemns attack by parent on teacher

A student’s father beat a teacher at the school on Friday for confiscating his son’s cellphone during class.

Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar_311 (photo credit: Muki Schwartz)
Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar_311
(photo credit: Muki Schwartz)
The Education Ministry condemned on Sunday the attack on a teacher at Hashachar junior high school in Hod Hasharon, which occurred Friday.
A student’s father beat a teacher at the school on Friday for confiscating his son’s cellphone during class.
The teacher, who declined to speak to the media, had taken the device after catching the student using it during a lesson. At the end of the last period on Friday, the student’s father came to school and confronted the teacher by violently beating him and dragging him into the hallway.
Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar addressed teachers nationwide in a letter on Sunday in which he wrote, “I take very severely and seriously any act of violence, especially violence against teachers and educators.”
“The education system has set the safety of everyone in education institutions as a central objective,” he continued. “The mission to promote a safe environment and prevent violence is a common mission for everyone in an educational institution and in the community in general. It requires the contribution of the entire education system, including parents.”
Sa’ar explained that he sees parents as significant partners in promoting school safety. He noted that the ministry is preparing a circular which is set to be published soon, and he has instructed that the document be updated with a chapter on violence in schools.
The chapter will address relationships between parents and educators and the measures to be taken in cases where parents cross boundaries and hurt the authority of teachers.
“I urge teachers, parents, students and student councils to speak out against any form of violence both within schools and outside of them,” he concluded.
Education Ministry director- general Dalit Stauber said in an interview with Reshet Bet on Sunday that while she strongly condemns the attack, this is an unusual event which is not representative of what is happening in schools overall.
Stauber added that the ministry fully supports the teacher who “exercised his authority and did the right thing by taking the phone.”
“Phones are not part of the classroom,” she stressed. “Students are clearly asked to turn them off in class.”
Sa’ar spoke with the Hashachar teacher on Sunday morning to express his support and said he hopes to see him return to work shortly.
The ministry is working with the school on filing a restraining order against the parent, who was arrested by police following the event.