Ministerial Panel Okays Bill to Protect Teachers' Rights

The bill, initiated by MK Tirosh (Kadima), calls for state intervention to ensure teachers' rights.

The Ministerial Committee for Legislative Affairs approved Sunday a bill which would protect the rights of teachers.

The bill, which was submitted by MK Ronit Tirosh (Kadima), was signed by 64 MKs.

The proposal calls to legally define the requirements for becoming an educator, as is customary in other "free professions" such as accounting and law. It would also provide professional training and a continuing education program, and would certify that teachers are in a comfortable teaching environment. The bill would also widen the autonomy that each teacher has in his/her field.

The bill also calls for marking October 5 an annual "Teachers Day." The day would include lessons in schools about "the value of respecting teachers and the education profession." The proposal also recommends appointing a commissioner for teachers rights from within the education ministry to discuss the meaning behind the bill as well as "any other goal that concerns teachers' rights."

The proposal maintains that "every teacher will be entitled to file a complaint with the police against a student, or a student's parent, if they are threatened or physically assaulted in the educational institution or outside of it."

The explanations accompanying the bill add that "the basic assumption is that the state is obligated to ensure that the teacher's respect, health, body and soul will be safeguarded," and that "a teacher will be allowed to file a complaint with the police without obtaining permission from his/her superiors and based on his/her judgment only. Following the phenomenon of violence, teachers' jurisdiction must be strengthened."