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Israeli school principal suspected of intimate relations with minor takes leave

The principal who carried on relationships with minors had served on the committee to prevent sexual harm to LGBT students.

Udi Klein. Source: Facebook.
Udi Klein. Source: Facebook.

Udi Klein, director of the Tel Aviv School of Arts, announced on Monday that he would take an extended vacation, less than a day after a report surfaced that he had been involved in intimate relationships with minors for months, including a 17-year-old student.

According to a Channel 12 report, the scandal began just over a year ago with a chance encounter between Klein and an 11th-grade male student at another school.

The student asked for help with a study project. The principal invited the boy to his home, and from there the relationship developed and lasted for months. Klein only ended it when he feared it would be revealed, Channel 12 reported.

Klein also had a correspondence of a sexual nature with a former student, who was 16 at the time, on the LGBT meetup app Grindr.

Last year, Klein served as a member of a committee for preventing sexual harm to LGBT students.

He said of the first accusation, “I reject the statement that this was an inappropriate relationship. This relationship was in a framework that had nothing to do with my role and was ended by me in a short time.”

He made no reference to the second case involving correspondence with his former student.

Udi Klein. Source: Facebook.

Klein released a letter to the school, saying, “I think you know that I would never do anything to hurt any of you or any of our students. I think you know that this school, which I have been privileged to run for over six years, is the most important thing to me, the most significant activity for me.”

Regarding the Channel 12 revelations, Klein said that “the publications from the last day cast doubt on these statements, and I would like to clarify that I always have been, and still am, committed to the school, to your well-being and to the promotion of the values ​​on which the school was founded. I would like to clarify that even in light of the reports in the last day, I did not act inappropriately to hurt anyone.”

The Israeli Education Ministry said in response: “These are serious criminal suspicions that were apparently not known to the office, and will be transferred to the police for investigation.”

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