New Security Arrangements at Schools to Begin in November

Security arrangements at Israel’s schools will be reformed beginning November, the Education Ministry announced. Under the present system, the schools are guarded by parents according to a duty list prepared by the school. Guard duty by parents is required by law.

Parental guarding has often been criticized as ineffective. The guards, who are not always provided weapons, are often mothers who for many years have had no military training, if they served in the army at all. Guard duty is usually limited to searching for suspicious objects prior to the beginning of studies, and to controlling entry to the school premises.

Under the latest proposals of the Education Ministry, guard duty in high schools and junior high schools will be the responsibility of the students. Early morning searches will be conducted with the help of a teacher. The Ministry is also exploring the possibility of having sixth graders at the elementary schools taking over guard duty from their parents.

“Guarding by students will be just as effective as guarding by parents,” said an official at the Ministry. “And it has an educational advantage as well.”

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