Israeli children return to school with dancing, singing, but in north a new, tense reality

Preparations for the school year in the north of the country include safe rooms and special training for teachers to help children through the psychological effects of coming under attack.

By World Israel News Staff

Some 2.5 million Israeli children returned to classes on Sunday as a new school year kicked off. But in the north, (and the south for that matter), where the threat of a terrorist attack is judged to be high, additional steps have been taken ahead, Ynet reports.

In the south, the danger of rockets has existed for years, but now the north of the country, too, is preparing for possible attack after Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah promised his terror group will take revenge for Israeli attacks in Syria and Lebanon.

Inbar Ehrlich, the deputy principal of the Mount Galilee school in northern Israel, told Ynet that the school is prepared all year round at a level suited to the security situation.

“What is unusual now is the alertness, but explicit instructions from the military and authorities are to maintain routine, so we keep the routine,” she said. “At the same time, there are emergency-trained teams to act as the situation warrants, shelters are prepared, students and teachers know where to go.”

Ynet reports that Ehrlich said the staff went through a special mentoring program in order to support students who might suffer psychological effects after coming under attack, including “how to help them out of a feeling of helplessness.”

Haim Rokach, head of the Golan Regional Council, told Ynet that “the safe rooms are near the classes. The education system has been preparing for the whole summer. ”

Terror chief Nasrallah broadcast new threats against Israel on Saturday, repeating his organization’s intention to retaliate against the Jewish state, saying it “must pay a price” for its aggression.

Intelligence analysts estimate that Hezbollah holds an arsenal of some 120,000-150,000 missiles.