To ‘Stop Next Child Terrorist,’ East Jerusalem Schools Invite Muslim Religious Leaders to Teach Coexistence, Value of Life
East Jerusalem schools have been taking extra measures in recent weeks “to stop the next child terrorist,” amid a wave of violent stabbings being committed by teenagers and children from the area, Israeli news site nrg reported.
On Tuesday alone, a 16-year-old teenage girl from Jerusalem was stopped by Israeli police who found a knife in her bag. Nobody was injured and the girl was subdued and taken in for questioning.
“The students in east Jerusalem are influenced through social media and are acting on emotions,” Lara Mubariki, the head of education for Arab students in the city, told nrg. She said the school system was bringing in religious leaders from northern Israel to teach about coexistence, tolerance and the value of life — since many of the stabbing attacks over the past several months have ended in both victim and perpetrator casualties — as well as about the need to acquire an education in order to achieve a better life.
“We are lacking psychologists, counselors and teachers to cope with the students,” she said.
Other measures, according to the report, included opening each class by asking students how they are feeling, and to deal with any issues that arise. Students also have one-on-one sessions with school counselors, who encourage them to focus on their futures and families and ways to improve their situation without violence, according to nrg.
Mubariki was optimistic. “The method has proved itself and we see the share of attackers decline,” she said, adding a long school day also kept students off the streets and away from “stone-throwers and riots in the city.”