Educators Facing Rising Tide of Violence

Three separate incidents at schools in one week including making threats, attempted assault and assault and battery of a state employee.

Three separate incidents of high-school violence - including an alleged tear-gas attack on a teacher, and a group of students armed with clubs and knives - occured this week.

An 11th-grader from the Tichon Tel Aviv school was charged in Tel Aviv Youth Court Thursday with offenses including making threats, attempted assault and assault and battery of a state employee after an incident on Wednesday in which he allegedly locked one of his teachers in a classroom and sprayed him with tear gas.

On Thursday Haifa police detained for questioning 10 boys between the ages of 14 and 17, all of them students at the city's Al-Mutanabbi school, who were found with knives, clubs and tear gas in their possession. Investigators believe the students, who live in the Halisa neighborhood, were planning to attack a group of students from the Kababir neighborhood in connection with a dispute between two of the boys.

Eight of the 10 teens were released after questioning; the remaining two, both aged 14, were arrested. One was released with restrictions, the other was held overnight and will be charged on Friday with carrying a knife.

The teens were apprehended by police officers on the school grounds at 7 A.M. Thursday, after someone tipped off police to the impending fight. The Kababir group was presumably told about the arrests and thus did not show up at the appointed time.

In Shfaram Thursday seven 15- and 16-year-olds from the town's Amal tech school were detained by police after a brawl at the school, in which one of the students used tear gas. A student, a teacher and the school principal received mild tear-gas inhalation injuries.

The incident apparently began as a fight between two students from the village of Bir al-Maksur and one from Sha'ab, before escalating into a brawl involving dozens of students.

The seven teens were released, with restrictions, and may face assault and public disorder charges.

The school principal and the Amal school network declined to comment for this report on the grounds that it is now a police matter.

Dr. Orna Simhon, director of the Education Ministry's northern district, spoke to the principal after being briefed about the incident and instructed him to use all the tools available to him to address the events.