For the first time, the Israeli Teachers Association has called for a strike to protest violence in the schools after a high-school teacher was knocked unconscious by a student who hit her with a metal rod, The Jerusalem Post reported on Thursday.
Following the attack, which occurred in Tel Sheva, the teacher was rushed to the hospital and a complaint was filed with the police.
The strike, called for next Sunday, is expected to affect approximately 700,000 students across the country.
“For too long, the Teachers Association has been warning the Education Ministry about the culture of violence against teachers, and nothing has been done about it. Local protests have not mobilized the Education Ministry, and as a result, a teacher almost lost her life today,” the TA said in a statement.
TA chairman Ran Erez added: “For a year-and-a-half, the Education Ministry has not promoted the bill that we submitted that would define and punish violent acts against a teacher within the confines of the law. Perhaps this will deter and prevent violence. If this strike saves one teacher’s life, it will be enough. Is the ministry waiting for a teacher to be murdered in the state of Israel in order to promote legislation that would increase the punishment and deter teachers from being harmed?”
In response to the strike call, Education Minister Naftali Bennett announced a new plan to counter violence in the schools, according to Channel 10.
Bennett said it would include legislation that would make classroom assault punishable by up to five years in jail; and possibly granting schools authority to permanently expel violent students.