In a conversation with Israel National News, Sara Yiscah Sar-Shalom, a kindergarten teacher, recalls what happened when she expressed a position on the issue of LGBT families.
Sarah spoke about the WhatsApp group she was a member of until recently, a group made up of female kindergarten teachers from all over the country and whose purpose is to transfer information, opinions and discourse of kindergarten teachers from all over Israel and facilitating internal discussions concerning the education of the children.
"Before Family Day, the group only came up with materials, playful stories that pertain to LGBT and single-parent families," says Sar-Shalom, noting that the characteristics of the materials were all the normalization of life in homes where the parents are of the same sex. She likewise mentioned that in her opinion, there is no reason to raise the issue with kindergarten students.
"I responded with a surprised smiley and asked why teach this content when there are other values that pertain to Family Day," she says and describes the aggressive and non-inclusive responses she received. Later in the conversation, she wrote that according to the texts sent in the group, there is no longer any room to tell the children familiar stories in which the parents are a man and a woman, including, of course, Bible stories.
Then a private message arrived from the group's manager, who warned Sar-Shalom that if she didn't stop speaking out, she would be remover from the group. Sar-Shalom, for her part, argued that as a woman of education it would be correct to at least open the issue for discussion, and it is unlikely in her mind that the only materials passed on in the group are LGBT-encouraging materials and do not allow for other opinions.
After a short discussion, the manager of the group removed Sar-Shalom, but what happened next surprised her as well.
"It was amazing to see that afterwards private messages were sent to me from kindergarten teachers who told me what they were experiencing and supported me. These are not religious or kindergarten teachers from communities in Judea and Samaria, but also teachers from Tel Aviv who support my opinion. I asked them why they don't write anything in the group, and it turned out that they are afraid to express their opinion. One said that an LGBT flag was hung in her classroom and she objected, but the kindergarten manager decided this is what happens. There is complete silencing here of any other opinion that is that of the majority of the public."