Be'er Sheva Girls Arrested for Setting School on Fire to Protest New Uniforms

The four high school students say they were angry about the new school dress code; police suspect girls lit waste basket on fire.

Four high school girls from Be'er Sheva have been arrested on suspicion of torching classrooms at their school. Under interrogation, they admitted to committing the arson and expressed remorse. They said they had been angry about a new school dress code which bans flip-flops and requires uniforms.

Investigators who inspected the scene of the fire that broke out in one classroom last Thursday suspected that it was a case of arson. Fire erupted in another classroom at the school on Monday of this week.

fire (Moti Milrod)
Moti Milrod

"The girls lit a waste basket with paper in it and left it on a bookshelf in the classroom during the school day," said Chief Inspector Sergei Federenko, who heads the juvenile division of the Be'er Sheva police in reference to the first incident. "Because of the thick smoke, we had to evacuate the school."

After the second fire, the police were given information implicating four 11th grade students and they were arrested.

Students at the high school said the institution has a new principal who is strict about discipline and has instituted new rules. The four suspects were released to house arrest for five day. After they are evaluated by the juvenile probation department, the police will consider how to proceed with their case.

"The district views the matter with great severity and condemns what was done," a statement from the district office of the Education Ministry said. "The district will take whatever disciplinary steps are necessary to mete out justice with the students responsible for the arson."

A similar arson incident was committed by disgruntled students about a month and a half ago at the Revivim high school in Rishon Letzion, where a teachers' lounge was torched and graffiti scrawled on a wall. This was followed by a fake bomb threat.

קראו כתבה זו בעברית: תלמידות נעצרו בחשד להצתת כיתות במחאה על התלבושת האחידה