Girl, 13, refused on bus after driver deemed outfit form of ‘sexual harassment’

A 13-year-old girl said she was blocked from boarding a bus because her outfit was seen as a form of "sexual harassment," according to the driver.

Tamara Lahav, who lives in Kibbutz Maabarot, in northern Israel, was wearing a cropped shirt and shorts.

Reports in Israel stated that the company, Kavim, said the driver and regional manager would be summoned for an internal hearing.

On Friday, June 10, the driver opened the door of his bus and asked the "surprised" teen if she had “something to cover up with," before closing the doors and driving off without her when she said no.

Lahav, who planned to go to a shopping centre, stayed at the bus stop.

“I was in shock, I didn’t really understand what happened. After that I regretted that I didn’t confront the driver. I don’t think that boys would have received the same treatment," she said.

Lahav’s mother filed a complaint against the driver with the national authority for public transportation and said his alleged comments were "a violation of human dignity."

“The driver’s actions in public space are a violation of the basic rights that everyone has and above all, a violation of human dignity.

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"We are raising Tamara to be part of an equal society: The driver wouldn't have commented on how a man or boy dresses, so there is no reason that he should do so for a woman or girl,” mum Yael told Haaretz.

“It took me a while to understand the situation,” said Tamara. She said it made her upset she wasn't allowed on a bus because of the driver's "chauvinistic views.”

A Transportation Ministry official told Haaretz that drivers are not allowed to refuse transportation to passengers because of the way they are dressed.

Kavim, who operates the route, said: "The company instructs and trains the drivers to allow every passenger, men and women, to use its services and board the bus for travel without distinction, and regardless of their clothing."

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