Demanding same-sex schooling
Photo: Amos Ben Gershom, GPO

Parents keeping children home over coed classrooms

Netanya national-religious school announces it can no longer fund same-sex schooling for third graders; parents outraged, refuse to allow children to begin school year

Though the school year began last week, 27 third graders from Netanya's Tachkemoni School have yet to lay eyes on a chalkboard this year. The children's parents are refusing to send them to school over a decision that they claim has been forced upon them – namely the reverting of the class to a coed facility.


The national-religious school had previously provided the parents with a choice between same-sex and coed schooling, but this year the rules were changed without the parents' consent.


"The management announced that since children have been leaving the school, there aren't enough funds, so the students will have to study in mixed classrooms," PTA Chairman Smadar Segel told Ynet.


"I am secular, but I refuse to accept the fact that the school's management is subjecting parents to conditions that don't suit their faith."


Segel said she had already met with an Education Ministry inspector, as well as the school principal. "After much effort they said they had obtained the funds for 26 hours of segregated study, but the school week is composed of 31 hours – what about the rest of the time?" she asked.


She claims the inspector could only offer her coed learning for the remaining hours, so she decided to attempt to obtain funds for the five hours on her own. "I told them I would go to rabbis to ask for donations, so that the children could return to school meanwhile, but they refused to hear it," Segel recounted.


Netanya Municipality stated in response that the matter was the Education Ministry's responsibility. A ministry spokesman stated that "due to the minimal number of students who signed up for the school this year, the previous standards could not be upheld.


"An inspector has met with the parents and suggested that for only five weekly hours the students would study in a coed classroom."


פרסום ראשון: 09.08.08, 00:44
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