In First, Israeli Court Okays Barring Teacher's Aide Who Refused COVID Vaccine or Test From School

In precedent-setting decision, Israeli judge writes court did not believe that teacher's aide's rights not to receive COVID vaccine or get tested 'outweigh right and duty to take care of the well-being of her students'

Bar Peleg
Bar Peleg
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An empty classroom in Israel, this month
An empty classroom in Israel, this monthCredit: Gil Eliahu
Bar Peleg
Bar Peleg

In a precedent-setting ruling, a labor court in Tel Aviv struck down a petition Sunday filed by a teaching assistant to overturn a local council decision to bar her from working without a vaccine or a coronavirus test.

Judge Meirav Kleiman wrote in the verdict that the court did not believe that her rights not to receive the vaccine or get tested “outweigh the right and duty to take care of the well-being of her students, the teaching staff and the parents of the students.”

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The ruling will now allow other local council heads to enact a similar policy. However, it opposes the Attorney General's official position on the matter. In a letter sent to municipalities last month, Deputy Attorney General Raz Nizri wrote that mayors can not to bar the entrance of teaching staff to educational institutions, if they decide not to receive the vaccination or get tested. Prohibiting staff's entrance requires further legislation, he further emphasized.

Judge Kleiman said that the court is aware of the so called invasive nature of coronavirus tests. However, regular testing, when compared to an implementation of mandatory vaccines in work places, causes less harm to constitutional freedoms.

The petition was filed by the teaching assistant after the head of a local council in central Israel announced that all teaching staff would either need to present a vaccination certificate or a negative COVID-19 test every seven days in order to be granted entry into the school.

The teaching assistant refused and consequently submitted the petition to the court.

Although the court ruling stated that making inoculations compulsory would infringe on individual rights, the local council did not oblige the teaching assistant to receive the vaccine against her will

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