Police Investigating Whether Boy in Holon Nursery School Was Tied to Chair

Police are investigating suspicions that a Holon nursery school teacher tied a one-and-a-half-year-old child to a chair for 15 minutes, bruising one of his arms, so he would "learn to sit quietly."

The teacher, assistant teacher and principal have all been questioned under caution and released.

The case began when Y., a resident of Holon, picked her son up from nursery school several days ago and noticed the bruise. She took him to a pediatrician, who said the marks were consistent with "pressure caused by binding."

She called the school to ask what had happened, and the teacher initially responded that perhaps the assistant had grabbed the child during some incident on the playground. The principal told Y. that the boy had been wild lately and might have hurt himself.

The next day, however, Y. spoke with the assistant, who told her, "If you love your child, take him out of this nursery school," Y. related. The assistant then explained she had seen the teacher tie the boy to a chair for about 15 minutes.

Y. promptly complained to the police, who summoned the teacher, principal and assistant for questioning. The assistant related that another assistant had seen the incident and asked the teacher whether she was not overdoing it, and the teacher replied, "This isn't overdoing it. He needs to learn to sit quietly."

"This teacher is not fit to work with children, period," Y. said yesterday. "And I don't understand how, almost two weeks after my complaint, she is still working there, as if nothing had happened."

The Tel Aviv police confirmed the complaint but said they are still investigating.

The teacher declined to comment yesterday. The principal said she and her staff had told the police "everything we know, and obviously we saw nothing of the sort. As a rule, we will not back a teacher who turns out to have acted improperly."