Education Minister Rabbi Shai Piron (Yesh Atid) made it clear on Thursday morning at a gathering of the heads of the local Education Departments in Ramat Gan that the school year will start on time, despite the security situation.
“The school year will begin as planned. We are prepared for any security-related occurrences,” the MK explained, indicating that “During the first two weeks of the school year, the education system will not be occupied with regular teaching, but rather with activities to dissipate the tensions and with discussions surrounding the events of the summer, including the arousal and demonstration of racism and incitement.”
The Education Minister emphasized that “Where there is a lack of freedom of speech, there is no freedom. Silencing mouths leads to deep, social chaos. Freedom of expression has nothing to do with the right or the left, the religious or the secular. Freedom of expression is for everyone and belongs to everyone.”
According to Piron, “It is our responsibility as a society to know and cope with different expressions and not to view them as threatening. The State of Israel cannot exist if Jews and Arabs are unable to live together; this is part of our code of ethics; this is part of our test as a society.”
It is important to note that some leaders of authorities in the Gaza Envelope and Be’er Sheva, Ashdod and Ashkelon have announced that they will not begin the school year in their communities under the current security situation, as some of their educational institutions are not secured.
Just this morning a kindergarten was struck during a barrage of rocket fire from Gaza onto the region. No one was in the building at the time due to the summer holidays, but a man was wounded elsewhere in the Eshkol region by shrapnel from a rocket.