ACRI Responds to Censure of High School Teacher for Expressing ‘Leftist’ Views

by: Emily Schneider


In the wake of the widely publicized complaint and disciplinary actions undertaken against a high school teacher in Kiryat Tivon who was accused of expressing “extreme leftist views,” the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) has sent a letter to Education Minister Shay Piron urging him to support teachers who undertake their educational mission responsibly by engaging with topical subjects, presenting a range of opinions and viewpoints, and dealing with controversial subjects in the classroom.


In the letter, Sharaf Hassan, Director of ACRI’s Educational Department, expressed criticisms of the educational system voiced by many in Israeli society: the diminution of the teacher’s role into that of a mere conduit of information and test-preparation; the assessment of educational efficacy mainly via grades and metrics; and most important of all, the systematic neglect of “values education”.


“Values education requires teachers to engage in topical and controversial matters, and as we all know, in Israel there is not a single question that is not part of a political, ideological or social controversy. The avoidance of working with values and current events is also a form of values education – although its meaning is to conform to the values of society’s hegemony. If teachers don’t feel that the classroom provides a safe space and the freedom to deal with essential questions… schools will have abandoned the vision and even the dream of being an influential factor in society.”


Additional Materials

The complete letter sent to the Education Minister (Hebrew).

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Categories: Democracy and Civil Liberties, Freedom of Expression, Human Rights Education, The Right to Education

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