The school blames the student's parents for not committing to the school's modesty code and for showing disdain for the situation. The student claims that her return to school was tied to a condition – that she attend a seminar for girls after graduation, something which would prevent her from going to national service.
Efrat's story was reported on 'Radio South'. Her mother Shlomit who sees herself as someone who is "getting closer to religion," noted that her daughter is going through a major crisis. "Why did they throw her out of school? For working over her summer vacation? This situation has really hurt us all. When all her school friends were taking the annual school trip, my daughter was at home crying."
The mother claims that her daughter agreed not to go back to work but was required to catch up on all the missed work by herself and commit in writing to going to a seminar. "In December they found out she had worked and they told her to go home," said the mother. "Since then she's been at home and depressed for three months. I don't think it's a problem to work at a mixed place, I mean, our daily lives are mixed."
The mother then added: "I no longer intend to send her back to school."
"The municipality has tried to send her back and today I was asked to come to a meeting on the matter. Now they want her to go back? What has she done? What was her crime for goodness sake? I want to fight back so that they don't do this to other girls. Purim is supposed to be the happiest time at school, but this Purim my little girl is crying and I'm crying with her."
Efrat said that the whole matter "was very aggravating. Why did they expel me for something like that? It was over summer vacation and now they make the decision to expel me. It really hurt me. It's very hard to be at home for three months, no trips, no Purim."
In light of her bleak situation Efrat decided that instead of sitting at home she is rejoining the workforce. "Sitting at home just makes me depressed," she explained.
Rabbi Yaakov Hemed, who stands at the head of the Shalhevet HaDarom School, said in response that "the school has a code and both mother and daughter have signed it. We are committed to all the other parents. When one girl does something that is in direct contrast to the code, we speak to her and if needed, suspend her from school for one or two days or more."
The rabbi denied that the student was forbidden from enlisting in the national service as a condition to her return to the school.
"I have not heard of anything like that. After graduation the girl is allowed to do whatever she likes. We lead the girls in the spirit of Beit Yaakov to continue to seminars and don't push them in the direction of national service. Last year we had a few girls who went to national service. Nothing happened."
The Dimona municipality said in response that "the girl's mother came to the education department of the municipality and with the help of a clerk reached an agreement that stated that the girl would be able to return to school if she left her job. Now we have been led to understand that the school is asking for an additional condition. We will do everything it takes to help put the girl back into an educational framework."