High school teachers in Ashkelon declared a labor dispute yesterday, to protest the handling of an incident two weeks ago in which nude photos of one of their colleagues were disseminated on social media.
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The high school teacher involved said that a student had looked through her iPad, found nude pictures of her, photographed the screen and shared the photos on WhatsApp. The school subsequently asked her to resign, which she refused to do.
“The students who committed this serious act continue to study in class, as if nothing happened,” the Secondary School Teachers Association said in a statement.
The teacher returned to her job at the end of last week, but the school has taken no action against the students involved.
The union went on to say that in light of the fact that all of the union’s efforts had failed to resolve the issue by taking educational and disciplinary steps against those responsible, there was no choice but to declare a labor dispute.
“This is a very unfortunate incident that compromises the status and privacy of teachers, crushing their dignity underfoot,” said union chairman Ran Erez. “In the case at hand, things reached a point of absurdity with the teacher, who is the victim, being punished. As a teachers organization we cannot remain silent and we will not allow this blow to the status, dignity and privacy of teachers.”
Erez also sent a letter on the matter to Education Minister Shay Piron, calling the incident “a serious case of violence against a teacher.” Erez added: “This is not the first time I have asked to make clear the prohibition against compromising the status of teachers, and in light of this serious case I demand that a dialogue be held immediately to correct the situation and determine obligatory procedures.”
“It’s bad enough that the incident happened,” Erez wrote, “but on top of that, no action was taken to immediately root it out.”
The school did not respond.