A Tel Aviv high school principal announced Monday he would be going on leave after reports surfaced that he had had sexual relationships with minors, including a 17-year-old male student.
A Channel 12 report released Monday said that Udi Klein, principal of the Tel Aviv School of Arts, began a romantic relationship last year with a student from another school but cut off the affair as he feared that the relationship would be revealed.
The report also said that Klein exchanged messages of a sexual nature with a former student on LGBTQ dating app Grindr.
Last year, Klein was a member of a committee for preventing sexual harm to LGBTQ students.
The age of consent in Israel is 16, and thus it does not seem that Klein’s actions broke the law.
After the report came out, Klein sent a letter to the school’s staff, saying: “I think you know that I would never do anything to harm any of you or any of our students. I think you know that this school, which I have had the privilege of being principal of for over six years, is the most important thing to me, the most meaningful endeavor for me.
“The recent publications cast doubt on these statements, and I would like to clarify that I have always been, and still am, committed to the school, to your well-being, and to the promotion of the values upon which the school was founded. I would like to emphasize that even in light of the recent reports, I have not acted inappropriately and have done nothing to harm anyone.”
In response to the report on the ties with the minor, Klein said that he rejects “the claim that this was an inappropriate relationship. This relationship happened in a context that has nothing to do with my role and it ended within a short time.”