A pregnant teacher was hospitalized earlier this week after being punched by a third-grade student, Yediot Aharonot reported.
The teacher, who is employed at a school in central Israel, was trying to separate children who were fighting.
"I noticed serious violence, verbal and physical, between two students who were fighting over a card, and I rushed to separate them, even though I am 26 weeks pregnant," the teacher recalled.
She tried to calm the children, but one child continued to his wild behavior.
"I was forced to bring him to the classroom I teach in, in order to prevent him from continuing to hit, and I tried to calm him down," the teacher recounted. "When we arrived at the classroom he punched me hard in the stomach. I told him, 'Stop it, I'm pregnant' - but he continued. Because of this, I was forced to release him - and he ran off."
The teacher was hospitalized following the incident, and has not yet been released home. According to her, since the coronavirus restrictions were removed, there has been a significant increase in classroom violence, and more parents are backing their children's violent behavior within educational institutions.
"I went into education eight years ago, in order to teach and educate students, out of a feeling of mission. I never believed that one day a student would raise his hand to me and endanger my fetus. Unfortunately, this is the reality. We have become a punching bag for parents and students. They've turned us into less than nothing," she said.
Israel's Education Ministry responded: "The wave of violence in the educational system has led to the cessation of studies for an entire day, last week, as part of the beginning of a long process to eliminate violence. This serious incident joins a list of difficult incidents which have been occurring in the system and which require the cooperation of all those involved."
"On the issue of this incident, the Ministry is in personal contact with the teacher and taking care to provide her and her school's entire staff with the necessary support. As part of the management of the incident, the perpetrating child has been suspended from school.
"In addition, it was decided that regular classes will not be held today, and that the entire day will be dedicated to discussions with all of the school's students, regarding the dangers and severe consequences of violence," the Ministry said.