Confiscating Shoes

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    after misbehaving today in day camp, the counsellor confiscated my son’s sneakers, and insisted he spent the rest of the day (outdoor) in socks. I have heard that schools have used this punishment too. i think it is very unfair, as it is both cruel and painful,as well as extremely embarassing, and also prevents a child from taking part in many activities. (my son’s counsellor insisted that he runs around on gravel, and joins in various games.


    Is it genevah of both the shoes and also the money you paid for your child to enjoy camp?

    🍫Syag Lchochma

    I am not mocking your post in any way, I don’t know your son and fully trust your opinion on this punishment for him, but I would be THRILLED if my son’s school chose that punishment. My kids hate wearing shoes and would definitely chose being sock footed over sitting in a desk through recess, copying a mishna or tefilla by hand, or sitting in the office where every parent and guest stares at them. For them it would be a treat. Maybe the counselor’s think they’ve picked something ‘light’?


    hi! it’s me again. someone told me that their sons spend all morning looking for their shoes, and one day her husband made them all go to school in socks. i still think that it is REALLY disgusting.

    day by day

    I think you should speak to somebody in charge . That is no way to discipline a child. I would like to know his train of thought behind that ” punishment”.


    It sounds very strange to me.

    The “punishment” has to fit the “crime”. How was this consequence connected to his misbehavior?


    thats terrible! call the camp and complain- jst dont say the counslers name… theyl tell aall the counslers and hell learn his lesson…


    That is demeaning as the Aruch Hashulchan (I think it was him) says that there is nothing more degrading than someone who walks outside barefoot.


    To take his shoes was genaiva. To force him to walk around shoeless om gravel or otherwise, is abusive. Also, a child should not walk around in sox with no shoes when his parents are alive, btw. There are more intelligent and appropriate way to teach him to behave. I would give my son a good talking to as he deserves, and complain about the counselor’s actions, as well.

    Shopping613 🌠

    happened in my school, the parent refused to come in to get a shoe, she found it riduculous, the girl got new shoes and the principal still has her shoe locked up after like 5 months


    I dont know why but the first thing that came to mind was the shoe exhibit at the holocaust museum. The Nazis took our shoes. Jews dont take other Jews shoes they GIVE shoes to other Jews who cant afford them.


    You should talk to the counsler or HC. This is crazy there should be better ways to discipline children.

    I Dont now how these people get away with doing such things.

    Rav Tuv

    So you started a YWN account just to tell everyone about your son’s punishment. Why not complain to the camp wouldn’t that be more productive?


    I doubt this is true. I smell a troll.

    Avi K

    That’s nothing. When I was in camp a counselor put the head of a kid who misbehaved in a toilet bowl and flushed it.


    dear mussar zogger,

    you can rest assured that i spoke to the camp, but it bothered me enough that I had to write about it here too. BTW it might help that someone else doesn’t do the same thing.

    Anyway i’d love to see your reaction if someone did something that cruel to your kids.


    AS A teacher for many years I think that this is a disgusting punishment and I really agree with you, BUT,

    I once took a couple of grades to one of these fancy play places where all the boys had to take off their shoes, and guess what? while we were there there was an electrical fault and we had to leave the building, and everyone was left in socks, without their nosh or packed lunches, freig nisht! There were a couple of really talented teachers with us, and they took the boys to a park, and they really had a blast. In fact, the boys had to return home without their shoes, and a couple (i guess those who didn’t have shabbos shoes?) came the next day to school with just an extra pair of socks. And it such fun that NOONE COMPLAINED.

    So yes, i think it is disgusting, but i think that a lot of it is up to your attitude, and if you convince your son that it wasn’t so bad, i doubt he would care so much.


    Sorry oomis1105, but i am sure that a teacher is allowed to confiscate things. and it wouldn’t be more geneiva to take away a cellphone or a shoe!


    I was in a frum school in GG in the 1990’s and we had sports for an hour a week, and we had to bring our sneakers. After being reminded the first couple fo weeks of every school year, anyone who forgot tgeir sneakers had to JOIN IN the sports lesson, running skipping and junping, climbing on the apparatus, etc, in their socks.

    The school did it for years and years, so i imagine that there were not too many complaints. i think that it was a brilliant idea, it taught boys basic concepts, such responsibility, taking care for their belongings, consequences of actions. etc.

    i would have noproblem sending my sons to a school that did it today.

    BTW, in those days we all wore grey socks, so it more embarrasing.


    TO SAM2

    the oruch hashulchan is only referring to walking barefoot, not in socks, the school i was in (see previous post) had some very choshuve rabbonnim behind it, and they never made a fuss.

    TO WIY

    the nazis did what was bad for people, to discipline a child is good for him. (choisech shivtoi soinei b’noi.)


    it isn’t right to say what the camp did and not what your son did. if they took away his shoes, they probably had a good reason, (i.e. he kicked a counsellor and was warned that if he does again they will take away his shoes, or he pulled off someone else’s shoes.)

    The father who wanted his kids to go to school in socks is a million precent right. Children should know how to take care of their things, and understand that if they lose them it is their problem.

    TO S’YOG.

    i wouldn’t trusr yerushalaymer’s judgement, often parents are too easy on the children, and just sometimes the mechanchim can see a different angle. BTW if your children would be THRILLED to walk without shoes, why did you buy them shoes in the first place?


    KOL HAKAVOD to the teacher.


    i don’t know how you smell a troll, but they DEFINITELY did it in the school i was in. you can contact me through ywn if you want/


    I really think that i am the ONLY NORMAL PERSON AROUND.

    i have to share with you a memory. a couple of years ago, after bringing one of my children late to school, i was leaving the building, and i saw a child standing by the door to the yard, with a black bag in hand, in a thin pair of socks, with tears pouring down his cheeks, after the principal had confiscated his shoes and told him to pick up all the garbage in the yard. he was standing there just rubbing one foot against the other,unable to bring himself to go outside without shoes. come on, be normal, the nazis did things like this.

    if there is anyone here who was thinking of doing such a thing, just think of this poor kid, crying pathetically.


    sorry only normal person around, but i have been teaching for a pack of years, and unfourtunately teachers do not have the liberty of giving in to tears. Anyway, i know that i am playing devil’s advocate, because i agree that sending a child outside without shoes is disgusting.


    there are specific things it says in Halocho one maynot do ??? ????? ?? ???? ????? ??? that others shouldn’t say that his children are not his (i.e.)

    i think thta sending your children to a school that makes them hop around the yard or climb ropes without their shoes is one of them.


    Since everyone is so interested;

    The camp was having some sort of game/race, where hte children had to take off one shoe, and hop on the other foot, and when the counsellor blew a whistle, either put on both shoes, or put on one and take off the other. my son put on both shoes, when really he was supposed to switch. my son he says he misunderstood, but i don’t blame the counsellor for not beleiving him, but although the punishment fits the crime i don’t think it was fair, especially that they made join in all the other games abnd races.


    to the “only normal person” no offense, but the normal one here is me not you.

    BTW, i’m waiting to see the teacher who gives in to tears. if you warn a kid and he does what he was not supposed to do, you have to carry out your punishment or you lose everything – especailly in a camp where there is less discipline to start off with.


    one more point,

    when all is said and done there are occasions which call for confiscating shoes. if a child spends the whole lesson deliberatelly opening and closing the velcro, or is obviously playing with his shoes under the desk, then i take thme away. Still, obviously, i normally give thme back for recess, or if not they can always spend recess in the library. i don’t make them go outside.

    one notable exception was when i was subbing a class, and the boys were meant to be working at their desks. One boy kept on coming over and driving me mad with stupid questions, and he was walking around in his socks. Eventually i got mad and asked him where his shoes are, and he told me that he came to school without them. I marched over to his desk and opened it, and there on top were his shoes, so i felt i had no choice, and i took them to the principal, who with the parnts permission kept them for three days and sent him down a couple of classes until the regular teacher came back.

    in all honesty i still feel bad about it, especailly since i know that he wasn’t the only boy who was responsible for the chaos in the classroom.


    BTW why is this post decaffinated coffee? it bothers me a lot, in fact i only regiseterd because of it, and it should be caffeinated!

    Is there no title on cruelty to kids?


    one more story, it doens not really belong here, but i will write it anyway.

    my son’s school also make thme bring their sneakers for sports, and if they don’t have sneakers then they cannot join in.

    If they don’t bring their sneakers for two or three weers then they have take off their shoes, … and sit at the side, watching.

    If they don’t bring their sneakers for even longer, then eventually they have to take their shoes to the principal’s office, and leave them there for the rest of the day.

    Anyway, once at PTa the teacher remarked to us that we should buy one of our boys sneakers, since he doesn’t have any. we were very surprised, since we knew thta he had sneakers. It turned out that my son hated doing sports, and he decided that if anyone else cannot find their sneakers he’ll let them use his. he’s quite a Tzaddik, isn’t he?

    After the teacher threatened to what they do in Golder Green – make him join in the spoirts in his socks, did things change.


    taking a childs shoes is unacceptable. plain and simple. no excuse, no long story.

    had this been done in a public school setting it would be on the 6 o’clock news and the teacher would be under investigation.

    parents should stand up for their kids with regard to things like this. i can tell you for a fact that no teacher did stuff like this to my children. my husband once hard that a rebbe had a tendency to hit children if they misbehaved even in the slightest. my husband made it known that if anyone laid a hand on his child he would come to the school with the police and have the teacher arrested. originally he wanted to beat the teacher up, but i told him then he would end up in jail as well.


    “had this been done in a public school setting it would be on the 6 o’clock news and the teacher would be under investigation.”

    Yeah the teacher would be on paid adminstrative leave for a week and then be back on the job after that.

    🍫Syag Lchochma

    BTW if your children would be THRILLED to walk without shoes, why did you buy them shoes in the first place?


    🍫Syag Lchochma

    had this been done in a public school setting it would be on the 6 o’clock news and the teacher would be under investigation.

    I work in some really good public schools and I’m not sure what part of this would make the news. The screaming and yeling our kids listen to in the name of “keeping order” would send one of those teachers out, but this? And sending a kid “a couple of classes down” is sooo horribly abusive yet I hear nobody complaining about that. Not only is the child humiliated in front of his own class, the younger grade teacher is usually thrilled to accept the older boy and humiliate him further as he takes a seat in the back of the room, and I know for a fact that MANY of those younger boys will always remember the “bad” boy who had to sit in their class. I am not using my personal view of shoes to make this comment, I hate the way kids are disciplined and am very vocal to the teachers about it, but this response seems so out of proportion considering the other stuff going on.



    A teacher has a right to confiscate only those things that are used inappropriately or that are distractions. Shoes, typically, don’t fit that category.


    Hi! I agree with Syag’s comments about sending kids down grades. It’s very disgusting!

    About shoes: what if a child has a tantrum and starts kicking other children? While the teacher is trying to control the kid, can s/he remove his/her shoes to protect the other children??


    🍫Syag Lchochma

    SiDi – thanks, I need the chizuk today.

    Just a weird transposition of this story, I often work with children with Autism, and one could NOT bear wearing his shoes. His teachers used to punish him by putting them on!.


    What is with all these discussions about shoes? Shabbos shoes, teachers and muddy shoes and now teachers confiscating shoes. Shoe fetish?


    I would pull my kid out of the camp, and file a lawsuit in secular court, and report them to the appropriate administrative agency.

    a mamin

    Only Normal One: Reading your story about your childrens school, I would definitely take my children out of a school where the principal punnishes like that!


    sending down a class only two classes need to know about, shoes the whole school plus can see. anyway Sam2 says that is the most demeaning.


    by the way, i bet S’yog buys her kids shoes becuase the school insists on it

    🍫Syag Lchochma

    ybrooklynteacher – I don’t know if you are being sarcastic toward me, or at me, but I have to tell you a funny maaisa. The Rav of our community is very involved in our chessed organization and he called me up to ask if I need anything (mind you I also work in the same organization). He asked if I needed money for anything, maybe shoes. I asked him why he would call me about that. He told me someone saw my kids walking around in their socks and they assumed I needed some financial help. I could not stop laughing. But I gave a brocha to the person who cared enough to “tell on me”, I thought it was very caring.

    🍫Syag Lchochma

    Also – if you are telling me that being humiliated in front of “only” 40 people is any different than in front of the school, I think you are mistaken.


    Hi yerushalaymer.

    I think you should meet with the director of the camp and complain.

    Who is the counselor to employ such a method? Are they a Rebbe? Teacher? Anyone licensed to deal with children?

    Children run around in camp. It shows a lack of leadership in the counselor to do that to any camper.

    What else are they doing to keep control over kids?

    I suggest the camp learn about children before going into the camp business.

    In fact, I would like to call the camp and tell them a huge boundary was crossed by an incompetent and ill-suited counselor.

    The counselor went too far and owes you and your child an apology. They abused their influence as an adult.

    Hatzlacha in getting justice.

    Shopping613 🌠

    Ever heard about the punishment where they take a kid into some closet that hasn’t been used in like years that has so much dust you could swim in it, and tell the kid to lick the floor…..if he can find it….


    I never heard of this phenomena and this entire thread makes me sick sick sick. The first thing that cams to mind was the nazis.

    I really think Sth should be done about it, like that mother who is complaining about her sons shoes raked away, take some action , not just speak to the camp, get an apology and compensation.

    Write about it in all the Jewish news papers, make these insane pple realise that nazis do it, NOT JEWS!


    Dear Syog le’chochmah,

    Really really sorry, i did not mean any sarcasm, all i was trying to say was that i do not know what goes on in Golder Green, but in my school, ironically, they insist that boys come in shoes, not crocs or sneakers, etc, so even if golder greener does not a reason to buy his children shoes, were they to be in my school he would have to buy them shoes anyway, very sorry for the misunderstanding.

    Watch out for further posts, i have a more to say on this subject.


    Dear everyone;

    in an ideal world no teacher would ever discipline a child unfairly, for one very simple reason – no child would ever play up.

    chinuch is VERY VERY VERY complicated. no punishment is ever given without the teacher thinking it through many times, as to how it will affect this child, and how it will affect the rest of the class.

    for instance if a child is sent down a couple of grades, you can trust me that we have taken into account the humiliation, we have thought about how confident the child is, how it will affect him, in which grades he has siblings, or even nephews, etc…

    When this child shoes were removed, think for a second of the counsellor. one cannot allow cheating in a camp race. the obvious punishment would have been to stop him from participating in that day’s races, but very often these children will just make more trouble if they sitting on the side, and you also need a punishment that will strongly discourage anyone else from doing it. I am not saying that i would do it, but all in all i understand the counsellor.

    Moishe S

    A few friends and me managed to set off the fire drill in school during school tests, it was really cool because all the teachers panicked and the fire brigade came and we were out of the building for an entire two hours!

    Anyway the principal was livid, and he made us give him our shoes every morning FOR TWO WHOLE WEEKS!

    Anyway, we were real heroes in school – like little kids were offering us their nosh, etc…

    We insisted on doing everything we would have otherwise done – playing soccer, climbing down the bannisters, etc… we had really good fun!

    It might have been a bit inconvanient using the bathrooms, but i use the staff one anyway…

    But anyway, it was really cool having a way that every single kid in a massive school knew exactly who pulled the biggest shtick in the century.

    Oh the good old days… it wasn’t all that long ago!

    P. S. i would definitely do it again, if i was in the same position.


    They’re hinting at the kid to “shoo”.


    moishe s, i wouldn;t use your real name, beliave me one day you’ll grow up, and you night just be enbarrassed.

    ybrooklyn teacher, you don’t mind me asking, but why are sneakers more inportant than shabbos shoes

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