Schools in Israel hold impromptu tolerance classes

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Israeli Education Minister Rafi Peretz attends a weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem on June 24, 2019. (Photo by MENAHEM KAHANA / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP via Getty Images)

Schools in Israel have held impromptu “tolerance” classes for children responding to the comments made by the country’s education minister. As we reported earlier today, Rafi Peretz said that his own children would never grow up gay because they were brought up in a natural and healthy environment in correspondence with Jewish values, and they believe in a ‘normal’ family of one man and one woman. Following instructions from the head of the Tel Aviv’s education administration Shirley Rimon-Bracha, and with the with the support of Mayor Ron Huldai, many schools in the capital started the day with 15 minutes of discussion on the topic “tolerance, living together and variations on the concept of family”. The Ma’ayan Shahar school in the Emek Hefer region north of Tel Aviv gave more time to the topic with homeroom discussions in which they provided students with copies of the interview, encouraging students to talk and to express their opinion about this issue. Many of the students were angry about Peretz’s anti-LGBT+ comments. One student defended his right to express his opinion, but was quickly followed by a 12th grader who said that it might be harmful for certain people. The school’s principal told the newspaper: “It was a respectful discussion in which all of the relevant points came up.”

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