The Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court on Wednesday sentenced kindergarten teacher Aviva Dahan to 16 months in prison for abusing toddlers at a facility in central Israel.
Suspicions against Dahan first arose in June 2018, after one of the toddlers in the institution told her parents she was beaten by one of the staffers. The parents demanded to review the kindergarten's security camera footage, which affirmed that Dahan, along with several other staffers, regularly beat the children under their care.
Dahan, 66, was arrested and charged with child abuse, including counts of forceful grabbing, beatings to the head, and pushing the children.
Giving Dahan's verdict, Judge Noa Tavor said that the disgraced educator "maintained an atmosphere of terror and used verbal and physical violence against defenseless toddlers" for months.
Tavor also ruled Dahan must pay compensation to the tune of NIS 3,000 to each family whose child was abused by the teacher.
A father of one of the girls in kindergarten told in a previous discussion how he, his partner and their child have been handling themselves after learning of the staffers’ misdeeds.
“We promised her we would do our best so that nothing bad happens to her. I feel we've lost that trust. We did not understand what was happening to her. She was afraid to go to bed at noon because she saw children getting stepped on,” said the father.
Attorney Elad Rat, who represents the parents, said in regards to the verdict: “This is someone who sadistically abused the minors who were entrusted in her custody. Nothing will erase the trauma caused to the toddlers and their parents.”
"We believe that her sentence should have been significantly harsher. This is someone who, at the end of the day, was charged and convicted based on video evidence of the abuse… It would not be unreasonable to estimate that many other minors were harmed by [Dahan] over the years, though no documentation exists in their case.”
Dahan, on her part, expressed remorse for her actions during the trial. "I want to apologize. I regret everything,” she said in tears.
Two other assistants, Lehi Ben Daniel and Orna Akbali, were also charged with acting violently towards the kindergarten’s children. Ben Daniel has been recently convicted of assault and battery