Rabbi Yaakov Ariel with students in the class
Rabbi Yaakov Ariel with students in the classMeirim

Several days ago, after months of struggle, the Education Ministry finally promised to move a girl labeled by her family as a trans-boy to a school for gifted students and out of the state-religious school she is currently studying in. Now, however, parents of the boys in the affected class are protesting what they say is the school's capitulation to the LGBT-progressive agenda, leading to significant psychological harm to their children.

The story first broke at the start of the current academic year, when parents and teachers alike at a state-religious school in Givat Shmuel were shocked to discover that a "boy" in a third-grade class was actually a girl, albeit one who has apparently been dressed by her mother in yarmulka and tzitzit since the age of two. The headteacher of the school, along with officials within the Education Ministry, had been aware of the case, but chose to keep it secret.

Initially, the Education Ministry and the head of the state-religious education system tried to claim that their position was supported by Rabbi Yaakov Ariel, the chief rabbi of Ramat Gan. A clarification from Rabbi Ariel soon made it clear that this was not the case. However, repeated appeals to have the issue resolved in a satisfactory manner fell on deaf ears and so, following the Hanukkah recess, parents of boys in the affected class removed their children from the school and set up a private class off the school premises. Rabbi Ariel and other prominent rabbis from the Religious-Zionist stream offered their support to the class and taught several lessons there.

This week, as noted, the Ministry finally appeared to change its stance and ordered the girl removed from the class. Rabbi Ariel thanked the official involved in the decision, and asked that the boys in the class be permitted to continue to learn separately, in a room on the school's premises, until the girl actually leaves. However, the family of the girl has announced that they intend to appeal the Ministry's decision which was "taken without our consent or agreement." As such, the girl has yet to leave the school and meanwhile, the school's administration has ordered the boys to return to their previous class, learning alongside the "trans-boy."

Parents of the boys allege that the school, the Education Ministry, and the municipality have all capitulated to pressure from those pushing the LGBT-progressive agenda. They also point a finger of blame at the administration of the state-religious education system for avoiding taking responsibility for the situation and consistently refusing to address it, thereby sacrificing the emotional health of an entire class of children.

"These children are going through a terrible crisis - they're so confused," one parent said. "More than half the class has needed psychological help to get through this. One of the boys has started wetting his bed and another child has started taking psychiatric medication. These children are just eight years old and their whole world has been shaken. But their interests are not being taken into account by anyone - all the authorities are interested in is this one mother who is being led, or directed, by left-wing organizations."