Israeli teachers made fun of Ethiopian Israeli students in a WhatsApp group, and the education minister has apologized.
Black School Trip was the name of the group the teachers were using to communicate.
A student recorded the conversation over a teacher’s shoulder, then published it on social media with the caption “A disgrace.”
The teachers involved have been put on administrative leave as the school investigates the incident.
Around 150,000 Israelis have Ethiopian heritage; the first large migration came in the 1980s with a series of Mossad-led operations.
The absorption of the Ethiopian Jewish community into Israeli society has been challenging owing to significant unemployment, poverty, and racism. However, the situation has improved in recent years.
The pupils and instructors of a religious high school in Netivot, southern Israel, began a three-day tour on Monday.
The females seated behind one of the teachers were able to see her racist group chat remarks directed towards the Ethiopian-Israeli pupils.
Unbeknownst to the instructor, one of the pupils filmed the chat. The student then sent the perpetrators a social media message that included screenshots of the offensive postings.
She greeted the “teachers” at this institution a happy morning. “As a member of the [Ethiopian] community, I am very worried by the depths you’ve reached today. You were meant to be our role models and educators, yet you gave us the impression that we were in a hostile atmosphere.
Black School Trip
“Creating a derisive Facebook group titled “Black School Trip” “Opening a can of worms without checking to see whether anybody is watching is analogous to opening a can of worms. I refuse to think that our teachers would do such a thing after seeing the photographs.
To quote one of our former students, “You are a disgrace, and I am ashamed that you are our instructors and teaching the future generation.”
The instructors were put on administrative leave and later apologized for their actions.
The school’s headmaster issued a statement to express his “shock and dismay” at the “disgraceful and very offensive” remarks made by teachers against Ethiopian students.
“Such statements are taken seriously by the government. Racial comments are unacceptable and will not be allowed.”
He pledged that the situation would be handled sternly with all available resources. “I regret that the children had to endure this. Under my supervision, there would be zero tolerance for such actions.”
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