Israel are teaching young school children how to use weapons and suppress protestors, allowing the Israeli police force into schools to teach kindergarten kids.
According to Haaretz newspaper, dozens of preschoolers took part in the country’s first ‘learn to kill’ lessons, which were supervised by police and rescue officers.
The kids were given basic training lessons on how to shoot using plastic rifles and taught anti-riot methods used by the Israeli military.
The school children were also trained in how to use special police equipment such as bullet-proof vests, handcuffs and guns, and were taught specifically how to use them against Palestinian ‘aggression’.
City councilwoman Gaby Lasky (Meretz) said the police had used poor judgment and sent students a bad message. The presentation “won’t encourage feelings of security among the students,” she charged, but will teach them that “using violence against demonstrators is legitimate.”
Nevertheless, some parents saw nothing wrong with the presentation.
“I have nothing against weapons, and the intentions were good: to give the students a feeling of safety, of being protected, to give them the feeling that someone is guarding them,” one said. “Perhaps the display of weapons was a bit excessive, but the activity had other elements. It’s also impossible to forget that this is the complex reality we live in.”
Community policing days in schools are common, but they don’t usually involve weaponry. Less than two years ago, Haaretz published a report on soldiers coming to kindergartens and showing the children their weapons. The report prompted complaints to then-Education Minister Shay Piron, who said that while soldiers were welcome in kindergartens, weapons were forbidden, “to ensure the children’s safety.”
The Education Ministry said Sunday that it welcomed Tel Nordau’s effort to strengthen students’ relations with the police and supports community policing days. Nevertheless, it added, students are forbidden to try out crowd dispersal weaponry.
The Border Police said it regretted that a “positive event” was “being presented in such a warped and truly misleading manner. This was an event where children learned about good citizenship and the police’s role in society, at the request of and in cooperation with the school’s staff in order to, among other things, generate interest among the children and simplify the roles of the police for them.”