December 6, 2012 1:59 pm at 1:59 pm #607296
There is nothing wrong — and in fact everything right — with rebbes and teachers being affectionate with children. Whether an affectionate pinch on the cheek, holding his hand or sitting him on his lap (a young child). Rebbes and teachers have lovingly done so for millenia and suddenly in recent times some folks try to scare them from being affectionate with boneheaded equivalizing it to, G-d forbid, abuse. And then they wonder why people call them out on false allegations. Using their definitions, the most innocence activity can result in lurid allegations.
The biggest losers are the children who lose the vital affection from their teachers. Baruch Hashem there are still teachers unafraid to be a teacher and continue displaying all these forms of affection.December 6, 2012 5:00 pm at 5:00 pm #1055818
What about Rebbes giving a Potch?
Its illegal in NY for any rebbe to give one.December 6, 2012 5:07 pm at 5:07 pm #1055819
I am sure it is not difficult for you to understand the idea that certain things are more untzniusdig in more insular communities than they are in more integrated ones. Even the halacha recognizes this distinction to some extent. It is all about perception. If you are in a place where it is not normal for people to dress a certain way and you see someone dressed that way, it will probably make you react differently than if you see the same person dressed the same way in a place where it is normal.
That is analogous to what is going on here. Of course, parents and teachers have always been showing affection, and that is a wonderful thing. But each society has its own ways of expressing affection. If you express it in a way that is different from the norms of the society, your intentions might be to express affection, but it will not be taken that way. On the contrary, depending on the circumstances you could cause great psychological damage to the child by doing so. So stick to showing affection in ways which fit the societal norms.December 6, 2012 5:25 pm at 5:25 pm #1055820
+1 (except the lap part, but I do agree with you)December 6, 2012 6:05 pm at 6:05 pm #1055821
There are Rabbis that show affection, and then there’s Rabbis that take kids into their office and show affection. I fail to see why a rabbi, even if innocent, isn’t a bonehead for bringing someone into their office when scandals are revealed every other Tuesday.
The biggest losers are the children who have to be taught by a proven brain dead Rebbi.December 6, 2012 6:37 pm at 6:37 pm #1055822
There is no reason a child would need to sit on a teacher’s lap.
A teacher can comfort and assist a child from the next chair.
Teachers should show concern and care with their attention and words, not their hands.
The only time it’s appropriate is if they are trying to teach a skill (using scissors) that might require some hand over hand assistance and guidance.
Holding a younger child’s hand to offer reassurance or direction might be ok, but is truly unnecessary for a child older than preschool.
Why is this an issue for you?? Are you in chinuch and feel that things can easily be misconstrued??
Sitting on a teacher’s lap is a whole other ball game. I think with the prevalence of inappropriate behavior that’s been publicized, it’s not uncalled for that teachers need to be extra cautious.December 6, 2012 7:09 pm at 7:09 pm #1055823
Just a decade ago commentators said the same thing about teachers physically assaulting their students under the guise of chinuch. If a teacher is STUPID enough to put a kid on their lap nowadays, they will live to regret it. It’s the equivalent of pulling the kid’s pants down and giving petch which was also “tradition” back in the 1980’s. Baruch Hashem our community has woken up to the fact that some “traditions” are minhagei shtus and MUST be stopped.
Just like kids aren’t missing anything from their rebbe not giving petch. So too the new generation of kids will learn to adjust to the new reality. They’ll turn out just fine without sitting on rebbe’s lap!December 6, 2012 9:05 pm at 9:05 pm #1055824
1. There is no need to touch a child that is not your son period.
2. I dont think most Rabbeim love their Talmidim anything close to the Rabbeim of previous generations and therefore any touching is really inappropriate.
3. Rabbeim and teachers should be giving compliments and find other ways to show value and make a kid feel good.
4. Yes, due to the fact that some sickos messed it up, we can no longer allow teachers to show physical warmth. You are correct that there may be some small benefit to children by receiving a warm hand on the shoulder or whatever, but you have to change methods due to what is going on. This is just how things work. Whenever there are people taking advantage and doing things wrong, laws and rules must be put in affect that will make things harder for everyone else, but will ultimately be to the benefit of society. DEAL WITH IT.December 6, 2012 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm #1055825
Zsdad: Only in public schools. In private schools in NY it is entirely legal to use corporal punishment. (But this is a completely off topic point.)
yitay: It has always been within societal norms to show the kind of affection I described.
Syag: Thank you.
WIY: Today’s rebbeim and teachers very much do love their talmidim/students as much as yesterday’s generation. I disagree with all your points. It is entirely appropriate and indeed commendable for a teacher to impart this type of affection to a child today.December 7, 2012 6:36 am at 6:36 am #1055826
I was once tutoring first graders in a yeshiva. In the beginning, they gave me a little room whose door I kept open. A little later I was told I would have to work with them in the hall (apparently one of the mothers objected to her kid being in a room with me). One day one of these kids climbed up on my lap. I was rather startled.December 7, 2012 3:09 pm at 3:09 pm #1055827
Smart kid; crazy mother.December 7, 2012 3:33 pm at 3:33 pm #1055828
I teach kids laining for their bar mitzvah. I usually teach in the kid’s home, where there are people all around and we are never left alone.
I took on one student last year where the father did not want me to teach in his home. Instead, we had our lessons in a shul. Since (depending on the season) I don’t get out of work until Ma’ariv is over in the shul, very often we are the only ones there.
I have noticed that the father is there for every lesson. He doesn’t participate, of course — he’s off on the other side of the shul learning or talking on the phone, or whatever. But he’s there — and rightly so. *I* know that I would never take advantage of a kid that way — but he doesn’t. I commend him for his vigilance regarding the safety of his son.
The WolfDecember 7, 2012 3:45 pm at 3:45 pm #1055829
It is NOT Legal in NY for ANY teacher to hit a student public or private school in NYDecember 7, 2012 4:09 pm at 4:09 pm #1055830
It IS legal in NY private schools.December 7, 2012 4:28 pm at 4:28 pm #1055831
It IS legal in NY private schools
From the NYS Dept of Education:
State regulations prohibit the use of corporal punishment against a student by a teacher, administrator, officer, employee or agent of a school district in this State, a board of cooperative educational services (BOCES), a charter school, State-operated or State-supported school, an approved preschool program, an approved private school, an approved out-of-State day or residential school, or a registered nonpublic nursery, kindergarten, elementary or secondary school in this State.
In short, it’s NOT legal in NYS for a teacher to hit a child. Period.
The WolfDecember 7, 2012 4:34 pm at 4:34 pm #1055832
So you are pro all types of abuse?December 7, 2012 4:43 pm at 4:43 pm #1055833
Wolf: So it is OK to use corporal punishment in college.December 7, 2012 4:55 pm at 4:55 pm #1055836
I think you need to attend a Magenu seminar. I think you’d change your perspective pretty quickly after hearing what they have to say.December 7, 2012 5:12 pm at 5:12 pm #1055837
WIY – I think it is pretty obvious that he does not advocate for ANY types of abuse.
If I lived in NY I might not want the teachers touching my kids either but I think you are wrong in saying it is not needed or necessary. Whether or not you trust anyone anymore is a separate issue from what is healthy and good for the kids. It would be healthy and good for my kids to be able to ride their bikes around the neighborhood with friends. I don’t believe it is safe so I do not allow it. That doesn’t mean it isn’t healthy and good. It just means it isn’t an option.December 7, 2012 5:22 pm at 5:22 pm #1055838
Wolf: Under NYS statues, it is legal for private schools to use corporal punishment. It is legal in 48 out of 50 U.S. States. What you cited is not a statue and is not law.December 7, 2012 5:29 pm at 5:29 pm #1055839
I know someone when he was in Chedar, The rebbe said it was important to keep your finger on the place on the Daf.
If for some reason you took your finger off the place and the rebbe saw it, He would take out his ruler and slap your hand with it.
Do you think this person developed a love of learning because of this rebbe? What do you think he thought of Gemorah, knowing everytime he moved his hand he would get slapped.December 7, 2012 5:29 pm at 5:29 pm #1055840
It is a shame that so many here can quote psak after psak and dont seem to know what abuse is and what a terrible thing it is.December 7, 2012 7:48 pm at 7:48 pm #1055841
There are those who make all sorts of proclamations and it is clear they are living in a fantasy world of their own creation.
Which would explain why they know absolutely everything about every topic. Because they created the world they are living in.
????.December 7, 2012 7:57 pm at 7:57 pm #1055842
What you cited is not a statue and is not law.
No teacher, administrator, officer, employee or agent of a school district in this State, a board of cooperative educational services (BOCES), a charter school, State-operated or State-supported school, an approved preschool program, an approved private school, an approved out-of-state day or residential school, or a registered nonpublic nursery, kindergarten, elementary or secondary school in this State, shall use corporal punishment against a pupil.December 9, 2012 6:40 am at 6:40 am #1055843
This thread was about Rebbes being affectionate with children. Someone said the affection can sometimes be inappropriate so it should be banned. Others said that the affection is not always abusive and that the kids need it. Then zdad asks if we think abuse is beneficial.
I know you have issues with the yeshivish community (in almost every conceivable way) and have particular issues with the way abusers are protected, to which I join your plight whole heartedly. But none of us where talking about that here.December 9, 2012 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm #1055844
I dont think Rebbes should touch kids in any way shape or form positive or negative.December 9, 2012 1:32 pm at 1:32 pm #1055845
I know you are out of town, but there is a major case in the courts in Brooklyn. So its sort of a hot topic nowDecember 9, 2012 4:43 pm at 4:43 pm #1055846
I understand. My point was that that wasn’t even on the radar of this discussion. Don’t worry, not only am I keeping up on the trial, I would be in the front row if I was local.
And btw, thank you for a respectful answer. Not everyone is so inclined to do so.December 9, 2012 5:17 pm at 5:17 pm #1055847
“I dont think Rebbes should touch kids in any way shape or form positive or negative.”
I second that big time. Unfortunately I had a abusive big brute of a Rebbe who (for an insignificant reason) “affectionately” smacked the living day lights out of me in one of the younger grades in elementary school. Then when he commanded me to stop crying and I didnt because I couldn’t, he beat me some more in front of the whole class. I was so shocked and hurt that a Rebbe can be so abusive. Baruch Hashem my father made sure that he was no longer employed by the Yeshiva because he threatened to call the cops and make a huge stink.
The fact is if its off limits to touch a kid then there will be less abuse because the Rebbe and teacher know that it wont be tolerated.
One thing I can promise you, one beating can ruin a kids life. Its just not worth it to allow Rabbeim/teachers to touch kids period!December 9, 2012 5:32 pm at 5:32 pm #1055848
Good to know the rebbe got fired, in most cases not only would the rebbe not get fired, its likely the parents would also smack the kid and in most cases the abuse is over a minor offense (Like Daydreaming in class)December 9, 2012 6:03 pm at 6:03 pm #1055849
The Torah tells father’s and rebbeim to use corporal punishment. The Torah says to not use it means you hate the child.
Obviously it must be used appropriately.December 9, 2012 6:12 pm at 6:12 pm #1055850
Iced Where does it say in the Torah to use Corporal Punishment?December 9, 2012 6:31 pm at 6:31 pm #1055851
I would love for you to tell me which Rebbe in this generation is on the lofty spiritual level that he has so conquered his anger that any hitting he will do will be totally Lishmah for the sake of correcting the child and bringing him closer to Hashem? Anything less than that is cruel, evil abuse that is assur and will turn the boy off from Hashem and a Torah way of life and make him look negatively at Rabbeim and any teachers of Torah.December 9, 2012 7:24 pm at 7:24 pm #1055852
I have been a “lurker” forever,and I don’t know why this silly conversation bothered me enough to actually register…
Do you realize that you are not actually having a conversation? You are talking AT each other?
zahavasdad and WIY – no one here is trying to say that anyone should be allowed to abuse children! They are saying that IF YOU DIDN’T HAVE TO TAKE SICK PEOPLE INTO ACCOUNT, then it would be a positive, healthy thing for people to be able to show APPROPRIATE affection to a small child.
That IN A WORLD WHERE PEOPLE BEHAVE AS THEY SHOULD, it would benefit children to be hugged or have their cheek pinched by their teacher.
Iced is not talking about the people who take advantage of that right and of children’s innocence to do terrible things.
By your line of reason, even a child’s parents should not be allowed to hug them, because some people abuse that right.
No one here was advocating abusing children. Iced was lamenting the fact that the world has deteriorated to a point where in order to protect our children, laws and rules have been instated.
As a result, some perfectly innocent expressions of love for our children are lost. And our kids lose out on some potential character-building from that.December 9, 2012 7:38 pm at 7:38 pm #1055853
If you read iced’s the ops first comment “The biggest losers are the children who lose the vital affection from their teachers. Baruch Hashem there are still teachers unafraid to be a teacher and continue displaying all these forms of affection.”
He believes Rabbeim should still be allowed to touch children due to the possible slight benefit of such affection. Zahavasdad and I vehemently disagree and feel that no Rabbeim should be touching kids period. If we lived in a perfect world things would be different about a lot of things. However we live in a world that is very flawed and therefore we have way too many instances of Rabbeim, tutors and such physically and sexually abusing children.December 9, 2012 7:45 pm at 7:45 pm #1055854
You are correct, I didn’t read the post thoroughly enough.
In my completely humble opinion, there is nothing wrong with a pinch or pat on the cheek or a pat on the shoulder. Anything else is probably too much nowadays. But it is sad.
You think they can make a rule allowing non-violent cheek-pinching only?December 9, 2012 7:54 pm at 7:54 pm #1055855
plonis3141: I believe that is so true. Actually I heard a GREAT rebbe, a phenomenal mechanech say the exact same thing.
btw, about potching, Rabbi Miller was entirely for it. Of course it must be in moderation, without anger. But for a kid to observe the whole world falling to his knees, everyone afraid of approaching him, he says it’s no wonder they grow up to be who they are. No wonder kids bring guns and shoot at their teachers and classmates, they weren’t trained otherwise, they are emboldened by the world’s power afforded them. These are his words. ???? ???? ???? ??? is for real, not some pshat or drush invented by today’s “enlightened” people, smarter the ????? ??? ????.December 9, 2012 8:15 pm at 8:15 pm #1055856
I agree with Plonis. I think that there are lines that shouldn’t crossed, even to show positive affection. But not all affection should be abolished.
Though, I still have a hard time believing that most Rebbes nowadays would even wanna show affection. I had a rebbi that was somehow LOVED (by many kids), who would commonly grip and pull my ears for not paying attention. My friend even started bleeding once.
Smacks by rebbeim were done out of anger, and were common too.December 10, 2012 12:59 am at 12:59 am #1055857
What you cited is not a statue and is not law.
It is a part of the New York Codes, Rules and Regulations. They are not laws that are voted on by legislatures and signed by the governor. They are rules that are promulgated by state departments.
However, they still have the force of law. According to various lawyers I spoke with, you will not end up in prison for violating these regulations, but you can be fined, lose a license and face other civil charges. The regulations have the force of law, as there are provisions in the law which allow the state agencies to promulgate these rules.
Long story short — it is illegal for a private school teacher to hit a student.
The WolfDecember 10, 2012 2:28 am at 2:28 am #1055858
Plonis is right and I am sorry he/she took it back. We are NOT talking about hitting and abusing, we are talking about how much these children are losing out on because of the ban on affection. Do you really think that stopping the good rebbes from touching will stop an abusive rebbe from hitting? Why are you dragging that conversation in here anyway? WIY has a very good reason to want his children’s rebbeim to keep their distance. I understand his point but that does NOT make it in the child’s best interest. I work with many children who would not be suffering as much if they could have an arm on their shoulder or a gentle squeeze to their hands. Yes, they are losing. Whether or not you feel it is necessary does not negate that, and abuse is a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT TOPIC.December 10, 2012 2:29 am at 2:29 am #1055859
I take exception to that interpertation and stand by my previously stated position that it is entirely legal.December 10, 2012 2:59 am at 2:59 am #1055860
(My previous comment was in response to Wolf.)December 10, 2012 3:23 am at 3:23 am #1055861
I take exception to that interpertation and stand by my previously stated position that it is entirely legal.
On what grounds do you take exception?
I showed you where the prohibition is codified by state authorities.
The WolfDecember 10, 2012 3:50 am at 3:50 am #1055862
Based on basic research I conducted. For starters, check out the Wikipedia entry on “School corporal punishment” and see the reference for ‘private schools’ under the United States section.December 10, 2012 4:12 am at 4:12 am #1055863
Based on basic research I conducted. For starters, check out the Wikipedia entry on “School corporal punishment” and see the reference for ‘private schools’ under the United States section.
Let me get this straight.
I quote you the regulation from the New York Code, Rules and Regulations banning corporeal punishment in private and public schools *and* confer with several lawyers who practice in New York regarding whether or not they have the force of law and your best rebuttal is a paragraph from Wikipedia?
The WolfDecember 10, 2012 6:28 am at 6:28 am #1055864
Sorry, Wikipedia doesn’t meet the standard of “basic research.”
Of course, none of this discussion of abuse has anything to do with the original topic. I see nothing wrong with a teacher showing physical affection for a child (pat on the shoulder, maybe even a hug), but only in the presence of another adult and only if it’s clear the child will benefit from it. To make it contemporary, suppose a child’s house has been destroyed by a hurricane. He comes to school, obviously very upset. He needs comforting. If he has a good relationship with a teacher, the teacher is an obvious person to comfort him. For some kids, some physical contact is the most effective method of comforting him.December 10, 2012 7:02 am at 7:02 am #1055865
Have you ever looked up the stats on abuse?
I mean the real stats at the source, not the ones qouted in articles by “chinuch experts” and expert “phsycologists”.
You see there is a small secret that for some reason is glossed over in many articles by people interested in protecting children.
The actual term Child Abuse refers to many different things. It’s kind of an umbrella term.
Obviously it includes Child Sexual Abuse, Physical Child Abuse, as well as Abuse through Neglect.
Now when these statistics are qouted for some reason this little fact is left out.
Furthermore what’s left out is if you will go to any CPS breakdown on child abuse you will see that the most prevalent form of Child Abuse by far, and by far i mean by far, is Abuse through Neglect.
Those are the facts, plain and simple.
Child Sexual Abuse does’nt even compare to the amount of children that suffer from Neglect.
Now the most effective “cure” for neglect is a Caring Teacher who is dedicated to the child, sees the child each and every day, spends time with the child, and is invested with the child.
A teacher is the one who most simply can at least in some way provide the emotional support and warmth that the Parents cannot or will not provide in all too many cases.
Why won’t the parents provide it?
Well in some cases there are SB issues consuming them, in some cases they are physically exhausted from working themselves to the bone to provide for their children, in some cases they emotionally cannot for whatever reason.
Whatever the case may be all to often the parents are not providing it and the kids suffer.
Now you are right.
Many Rabbeim now-a-days will not show the physical affection for their talmidim they once did becuase they are afraid for their own families in the case of a nutty parent or child.
For some reason a Rebbe could have spent decades being underpaid and overworked dedicating his life towards other peoples children and literally putting his life and soul into them.
But unfortunatley it’s not enough for people to even give them the slightest benefit of doubt when 1,2,3 parents or children out of hundreds literally will accuse them and they know every hug they gave a crying child will be held against them.
So, yes a lot of Rabbeim stopped it.
And yes more and more children go off.
And for some reason no one stops to think for second.
Hey, 25 years ago were there that many children going off the Derech left and right?
Were there that many Children with real social isssues?
Were there this many problems?
And as we get more “enlightened” there are more problems.
Anyone remember the famous JO about KIds-at-Risk?
Has it got better or worse since then.
Wait a second.
The same “experts” telling us know how to treat our Rabbeim.
How to treat our kids.
What real “child raising” is.
Are the exact same people that laid down the policies for Americas glorious Public School system.
And yep slowly but surely our schools are looking exactly like Americas Glorious Public School system.
Funny the coincedence.
A bunch of people that have literally destroyed the American Moral Fabric, The American Social Fabric, the concept of families in America, and the Public School system in America are now on equal par with Rabbonim and Talmidei Chachomim when it comes to how to be mechanech our children.December 10, 2012 3:46 pm at 3:46 pm #1055866
Since when is Wikipedia the authoritative source on anything
And there are states where paddling is legal, but ny isnt one of themDecember 10, 2012 4:34 pm at 4:34 pm #1055867
If a kid isnt as smart as the rest of the kids and cant learn as well as the rest. Should he get potched because he has some sort of learning disability or ADD?
Plenty of kids have Dyslexia or similar stuff. And sometimes it takes years to figure it out.
Many if not most of the teachers are not prepared for such students and cannot identify them so they potch themDecember 10, 2012 5:22 pm at 5:22 pm #1055868
There are numerous legal citations freely available online clearly indicating that corporal punishment is legal in private schools in 48 out of 50 States, with only two States (neither of which is NY) disallowing corporal punishment.
There is also recent Congressional testimony stating this as well.
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