Judge Shaul Manheim ruled that, for the time being, "there is no more room to discuss the petition – as long as the State's declaration and the statements made by its representatives in court obligate the State throughout the coming school year.
The judge criticized the State's conduct, saying that it should have solved the issue before it reached the court.
'Mom will be able to come to parties'
Amit, 10, arrived at the courthouse with his mother. "We don't need this separation," he said. "I am in favor of a school for boys and girls so that we can have girlfriends and be in touch with them, and that will lead to less violence. And this way, mom will be able to come to the parties too."
The parents' representative, Dr. Aviad Hacohen, dean of the Shaarei Mishpat College, said after the course session: "It's unfortunate that there was an attempt to force parents and students to accept one-sided and offensive sex-segregation, which contradicts the lifestyle of the petitioners, who all observe mitzvot.
"Luckily, the Education Ministry came to its senses on time, and we hope that such mistakes will not be repeated in the future."
The Education Ministry said in a statement, "We are pleased with the court ruling, which green lighted the ongoing discussions of the committee appointed by Dr. Avraham, Lifshitz, director of the state religious education, which will decide on the matter.
"The petition was unnecessary to begin with, and the court rightfully expressed its faith in the state religious education administration."
On Monday, a group of parents from Petah Tikva petitioned the High Court of Justice against an Education Ministry decision to separate between boys and girls in the "Morasha" religious elementary school.
Dr. Hacohen argued that "this is a serious infringement of freedom of religion and conscience."
He noted that most of the students' parents oppose sex segregation – and that this was made clear in a democratic vote held several months ago. He further argued that the intention contradicts a decision made by the Petah Tikva mayor and City Council, and its Education Administration.
According to the petition, mixed studies have been taking place in the "Morasha" elementary school for decades. From the third grade, the classrooms are separated according to gender.
Recently, however, the Religious Education Administration decided to split the school in two according to gender, with the aim of eventually creating two schools – one for boys and one for girls.
"This sex segregation fits in with the growing religious radicalization trend characterizing state religious education in the past few years," the petition claims.
"This trend seeks to impose strict halachic norms on the entire public, while strongly hurting parents who are not interested in accepting such strict norms and harming their own autonomy and that of their children, and their right to equality, freedom, freedom of religion and conscience and freedom of education."
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