The Education Ministry announced on Thursday that it had completed its review of events pertaining to a seven-year-old girl in a Petach Tikva primary school that was on Monday made to spend the day in just her underwear and a T-shirt because she arrived in a sleeveless dress, contrary to school rules.
The dress was considered to be in violation of the school dress code and the child was told to remove it by her teacher who provided her with a T-shirt with the school insignia.
The ministry found the school "could have demonstrated more flexibility," in its enforcement of the rules.
The little girl has refused to return to class since the incident.
"I saw how the other kids were laughing at her," the girl's mother said of the moment she came to collect her and realized how she had been made to spend the entire school day.
"I was in shock," the child's mother told Ynet, "I couldn't believe it. I saw my daughter and saw how the other kids were laughing at her. I asked the teacher why she did it and she said that the rules stated it is forbidden to wear a sleeveless dress. I told her: 'so just underwear is okay?"
The teacher implicated in the matter said the child was not ridiculed in class and had continued her school day without showing any signs of distress, she claimed the child was wearing shorts under her T-shirt but was not sure because she did not want to violate the little girl's privacy.
The newly appointed Minister of Education Yoav Galant, instructed the professional staff in the ministry including educators and psychologists to immediately launch a review of the event and reach out to the family.
"According to the school principal, the teacher involved is a longtime well-respected educator. In her interview, she claimed she had not intended to cause the child any discomfort or harm and was merely upholding school regulations," the ministry said in a statement.
"The family was offered assistance by the ministry and the school administration, but they declined." The statement went on to say, "A discussion was held with the other students in the class in which the kids expressed their concern for the offended child and voiced their hope that she would return to class."
At the instruction of the ministry and in coordination with the local municipality a new school has been found and the child. Her teacher remains in school.
The statement concludes that with a decision to support the child and her family during her transition to the new school and offer any emotional assistance to her or support the assistance from any outside source.
"The school and its educational staff that has suffered greatly from the incident, the legal proceedings that will follow and the teacher involved will also receive the support of the ministry along with a review of the school guidelines for the future." The ministry said.