As a former educator, and school administrator, I learned that one's political views on a school site should remain neutral. However, Mr. Cohen does have the right to publish his views off school grounds. His views are his own. They have nothing to do with the execution of his duties and responsiblities of running a school site. That is what what he is being evaluated on, not his politics.
Joe Mevorah ,
3. Freedom of dictating
Oh yes, exactly these kind of exremist public servants, are the ones that are dictating, in this case his teachers to submit themselves to his "political" view - or else they will be sacked.
Do not let him infect the future of our children!
4. freedom of speech and expression also
work in the other direction. He has no right to do anything other than remain neutral. Once he crosses that line he is no longer an educator but an opinionated individual who certainly has no right and should not be invested in educating our children. He is entited to his opinions but not out loud because of his position and the potential hint of impropriety.
5. Just enforce the law
6. firing leftist high-school pricipal
If Cohen Ram was writing an article, as co-writer with Kedar Orit, only under his family and first name: ok, freedom of speech.
If the man was only referring to his name and his function, without mentioning the name of the high school, where he's the principal, than I say: ok, but I understand very well the concerns of the Ministry of Education and the T.A. municipal offices about the neutrality of his position, especially because the upcoming elections.
If he was using his full name and his function in that specific high school: not ok, neutrality gone to zero. He has to be sanctioned maybe in grade, but to be fired...
but,... I don't know, who I am to judge?
Toledano Jean-Pierre ,
7. To: No. 2
But he has tainted his neutrality, has he not? Responsible school administrators should refrain from directly telegraphing their political bent until they have retired. If my child were a student in the school where he is principal, I would be greatly concerned. Even if Mr. Cohen's politics were to the right -- as are mine -- I would feel very uncomfortable keeping my child enrolled in his school. Is he molding young minds, or indoctrinating them?
Sarah B ,
U.S.A. / Israel
8. The political
Gideon Saar is simply incapable of understanding democracy. Teachers are not allowed to air their politics during the school hours, but after hours they are free to do so. This minister doesnt seem to understand this as he has not understood many other issues over the years. .
9. Only in Israel
Only in Israel do we tout our democratic credentials while limiting freedom of speech, placing roadblocks on civil marriage, promote religious law, and advocating loyalty oaths and population transfer. Orwell would be impressed by this use of language.
10. #8, #9, Funnily enough... these aren't new directives.
I did a quick look-up of public servant ethics guidelines - they explicitly forbid political activism of most public forms, unless explicitly permitted under law and the Civil Service Directives. They further forbid participating in any form of advertising (including political) unless explicitly allowed in said Directives.
Using one's public title and doing the activism under work hours? That would have just made an already questionable matter worse. Ram Cohen is a known figure, has been interviewed more than once (to say the least) both as a school principal and for his political views, but at least it wasn't active political activism.
This is. And it's not something a civil servant should be doing on the eve of elections - it is not merely a job, and it doesn't stay "at work" when one leaves for home.
11. As a former teacher
and a thinking human being, I support Ram Cohen's right to state his opinions.
At the same time however, it is a fact that educators must not present their own political views, but a fair evaluation of different view points.
I personally waited many years, till I retired to express my own views in public. That is how it must be.
A Jerusalemite ,
12. #3 shasis
Absolutely nothing was said in the article even hinting that he had told his teachers to ‘submit’. You have a good imagination.
13. Private Citizen
If this person does not have the right, as a private citizen, to express his political views, however mistaken they might be ;), the we have lost the plot. No doubt he is speaking to his students about the election as well, which is on more shaky ground, however it is done subtly or overtly, across the whole political spectrum, by educators in every democracy in the world. Its just that most of them don't get their names in the paper.
14. To: No. 13
If he is indoctrinating students, then we have "lost the plot" anyway (whatever that means). His job is to help mold young minds and to teach them HOW to think, not WHAT to think. If he wants to be an educator, he needs to understand the responsibilities attendant thereto. If he wants to be a politician, let him leave academia and run for office.
Sarah B ,
U.S.A. / Israel
15. Love the talkbacks to this one!
The state of Israel is so far under the influence of the radical right you have totally forgotten what the principles of democracy are. Have the rallies and book-burnings begun yet? Those normally accompany the purges don't they?
16. No 2, you are utterly wrong. Mr Cohen
had no right whatsoever to express political opinion of any colour or creed as long as he is involved in education.
A person dealing with young souls and minds should always refrain from expressing political opinion of this or that party, no matter what. Any article, television appearance or radio show on political matters, although outside school campus, usually reaches school premises and then the damage you cause is here to stay. Since educators are public servants and/or public figures for life, they should always refrain from expressing personal political opinion. Otherwise, Sarah B. is right, damage to the young minds may be irreparable. But one can always express and assert himself/herself every few years at the polls.
17. Opinions from educators?
Educator writes: "Mr. Cohen had no right whatsoever to express political opinion of any colour or creed as long as he is involved in education."
I wonder...if so, why should he be allowed to express religious opnions? (in Israel we even have separate religious and secular schools). Isn't Zionism 'political' and hence should be excluded from curriculum?
Problem is that we tend to identify 'established' views and pro- 'establishment' views as apolitical and those that diverge as 'political'.
18. 17, Jorge, I wouldn't wonder that much
if I were you. As for religion, there is a historical consensus according to which one can choose a yeshiva or any other religious school. In the secular schools, religion is not an issue. Except for the valuable subject called bible describing our Jewish identity, no one ever talks religion, let alone pushing religious ideas.
The "established" views and the so-called "establishment" views you are talking about have to do entirely with the state, I mean, the existence and the welfare of Israel as a democratic state. But when it comes to this or that political party or political view, the buck stops here ! No such discussions admitted within school premises ! Trust me Jorge, I have nearly 50 years of experience and seniority in education and I was never ever tempted to discuss parties and their politics and IT HAS ALWAYS WORKED FOR THE BENEFIT OF OUR STUDENTS.