Teachers’ email bashing students draws protests

Misdirected report calls one kid ‘not particularly bright’ and another a ‘big baby’; MK calls for inquiry

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Illustrative photo of Israeli students on trip to Poland in 2011 (photo credit: Yossi Zeliger/Flash90)
Illustrative photo of Israeli students on trip to Poland in 2011 (photo credit: Yossi Zeliger/Flash90)

Students at a high school in central Israel protested on Monday after an email containing slurs about some of the pupils wound up in the hands of the teenagers.

The students, wearing black T-shirts adorned with slogans based on some of the offensive comments written in the email message, gathered in the corridors and chanted.

The email, compiled by one of the teachers at the Rabin High School in Kfar Saba, described one student as “selfish,” another as “not particularly bright,” and another as “a big baby.”

The list, with its candid teachers’ opinions, was prepared ahead of a planned trip to Poland of about a hundred 11th-grade pupils. The document was accidentally sent to some of those on the list instead of the teachers organizing the trip, Ynet reported on Sunday. The pupils quickly forwarded the message on to their friends.

While the list also included positive notes, students and others were offended both by its contents and by the fact that it had been drawn up at all.

MK Karin Elharar (Yesh Atid) called the student protest “justified” and strongly reprimanded the teaching staff for drawing up the list.

“This isn’t about a teacher who made a fatal error but about a document that should never have been created,” Elharar said. “Teachers who label their pupils prevent other from forming their own opinions, and even more so when it is a label that is hurtful, offensive, and degrading, and has no place in the education system.”

The school held special sessions with pupils on Monday morning during which teachers apologized for the fiasco.

Elharar called on the Education Ministry to conduct a thorough investigation.

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