Sa'ar Might Require Students to Stand When Teacher Enters Class

Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar may issue an instruction for school students to rise when a teacher enters the classroom, sources close to the situation told Haaretz. Sa'ar has been discussing the move with officials including delegates from the National Student and Youth Council.

The sources say the move is motivated by a desire to bring order and discipline back into the schools.

The ministry has not yet decided whether an instruction would be a directive or mere recommendation, and whether it would affect all students. Sources at the ministry say Sa'ar has said he wants a directive implemented at high schools. Students need to understand that a lesson starts as soon as the teacher enters the class, he reportedly said.

Some observers suggest that the move be implemented at a younger age.

"A student rising when a teacher enters will not necessarily be doing it out of respect, it's just a physical thing," a source at the student and youth council said. "But if they start implementing the directive in first grade and take other steps to increase respect for teachers, we'll support it."

Sa'ar has made a number of high-profile announcements in recent weeks; he would like students to wear uniforms, only Israeli music to be played during recess, visits by senior army officers to increase motivation to join the Israel Defense Forces, and an educational program on 12 pre-state fighters executed by the Egyptians and British.

"The traits shared by all those decisions raining on the schools are that they don't cost any money and generate publicity," the principal of a large Tel Aviv high school said. "It's hard not to suspect that it's all spin. Besides, disciplinary problems are not resolved by orders sent down from the ministry."