The dismissal of the citizen teacher Meir Baruchin from a high school in Rishon Letzion is the latest spoiled result of the national legal government, whose incitement and rejection of the occupation under the direction of the accused Benjamin Netanyahu. A week after the education minister revealed his dark and dangerous worldview, Baruchin’s dismissal proves that information culture and calls for blind loyalty to the government have waned.
Students, parents, teachers and principals are increasingly realizing that their ability to represent a multi-faceted reality is being restricted. The dismissal of Baruchin, an order from a local government, makes educators who think skepticism and criticism an important tool clear that it is better to keep quiet.
Baruchin has been teaching the last eight civics courses in Rishon Letzion for over 30 years. His students, who share a range of political opinions, speak of an exceptional teacher who encourages learning through discussion, debate and challenging convention, not through learning alone. The debates in his class were stormy, but they taught the student how to think independently.
In one of his classes, Baruchin encountered resistance from students and parents. Complaints were sent to the headmaster and the situation worsened to the point of aggression against the experienced teacher. The Ministry of Education has only made it worse. Baruchin “attacks the army hard and expresses strong opinions against the prime minister and the political system,” said the director. In a letter, the community said that it had opinions in its classes that “do not correspond to the state educational system”.
In vain, Baruchin tried to explain that some of the things attributed to him were said to make you think, and other things were not even said in class. Baruchin resisted the bleak wave and “agreed” to the city’s offer to immediately stop working at the school and receive his full salary this year, provided he doesn’t teach at any other school in Rishon Letzion.
Many teachers complain that they are afraid to discuss human rights issues, the occupation, and the rule of millions of Palestinians in the areas. It is a fundamental mistake to think that politics can be kept out of political instruction. Trying to keep the occupation and control of the Palestinians outside the civil debate in Israel is itself a political act, silencing voices and distorting reality.
Without the backing of the Ministry of Education, the minefield that parents fear extends into other areas of life. The result is self-censorship, flat debates and a justification for the status quo. It is the duty of every student, parent and educator to oppose this policy.
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