January 6, 2010 1:19 am at 1:19 am #591050HIEParticipant
I know of a principal of a mainstream yeshiva in brooklyn who does the following:
He discusses future talmidim with current talmidim. He tells his current talmidim if asked who he fahered for next year and if someone knows him will ask about him.
Is this proper or not?January 6, 2010 1:43 am at 1:43 am #673079
That’s iffy – I would say a qualified “probably not.” I can’t imagine why he would discuss it, unless they are related to each other.January 6, 2010 1:45 am at 1:45 am #673080JosephParticipant
I know of a student of a mainstream yeshiva in Brooklyn who does the following:
He discusses his current principal with random people online. He asks these random unknown people if such and such action by his principal meets their approval.
Is this proper or not?January 6, 2010 2:05 am at 2:05 am #673081
absolutely not correct- in fact exactly this happened to me/my son
We applied to a certain yeshiva for kitta tes-and we wanted to find out when my son can come down for a farher..so the menahel says well…I dont know…there really isn’t enogh room…I heard your son is below average…and a lot of other balogna.
well my husband begged for him just to meet him and farher himand he finally agreed.
well did he have surprise!
My son did extremely well and only then did he call his melamed from last year who gave an excellent report about him..
so what happened? we later found out he asked one or two other teenagers who perhaps knew my son…they didnt want him in the yeshiva (for whatever reason) andgave ‘bad’ information about my son and in turn just turned us down without even verifying if any of this was true!
being that was my husband was so insistant he just gave in and lo and behold the kid did very well he then went on to verify what was going on…he was B”H accepted.
I do hope this menahel learnt his lesson not to ask other talmidim aor at least verify his INFORMATION!!!!!!!January 6, 2010 3:01 am at 3:01 am #673083mybatMember
I remember when I was in school, the teachers would have girls spy for them to know what the other girls were talking about and what they were doing out of school.(they weren’t doing anything serious)
I personally think it is terrible to teach students to be moser on one another.January 6, 2010 3:48 am at 3:48 am #673084jphoneMember
This principle is lazy and fostering rechilus among his talmidim. He should be fired.January 6, 2010 4:43 am at 4:43 am #673085tamazaballMember
hashem. no i dont think it is proper, this princippal should discuss his talmidim to himself!!January 6, 2010 5:31 am at 5:31 am #673086
I don’t think this post was about mossering, was it? It was about the principal being asked by students, who it was that he farhered for the next year, and telling them. While I don’t think it was probably a proper move, that is a far cry from accusing him of encouraging boys to be moser on each other.
Mom12 and mybat, both highlighted a problem, however, that I think is very serious in the Yeshivahs today. First of all, no principal should ever discuss a potential talmid with another talmid, before having met him. Children are not adults’ confidantes. He probably should not do so anyway, even if they have already met, because it can lead to loshon hara, unless there is a valid reason for the discussion. Second, no student should be spying on another one in or out of school and then reporting to the hanhalah. It is especially creepy when the spied upon student is not in school. I know someone to whom this happened. She was out bowling with her (male) cousin, a not so frum boy who was visiting from out of town. Within two hours of being seen by her friend from school, the mother of the first girl (and aunt of the boy) received a call from her daughter’s Yeshivah informing her that her daughter was seen by a classmate, out in public with a scruffy-looking boy, and they thought she needed to know. The mother calmly informed them that this was her nephew,she sent them out to the bowling alley herself, and the person who called the school (and so quickly) was guilty of L”H, and they would spend their time better in teaching their students the hilchos of rechilus, motzi shem ra, and L”H, than teaching their girls how to spy on each other.January 6, 2010 6:05 am at 6:05 am #673087
sometimes a principal needs inside info that can best be gleaned from contemporaries of the student.January 6, 2010 6:36 am at 6:36 am #673088
And then u want to know why our children act the way they do…
the motto is dont do as I do do as I say…………….January 6, 2010 11:42 am at 11:42 am #673089
oomis: “the person who called the school (and so quickly) was guilty of L”H”
Actually this would be a classic case of to’eles and 100% permitted if done properly. If I had a teenage daughter who was hanging out with unsavory boys I would certainly want to know about it in time to deal with the issue and not find out only after it is too late. I find it hard to believe any parent would feel differently. It also sounds like the school dealt with the matter very responsibly, not threatening to expel the student, just informing the mother that “they thought she needed to know”.
However I do think the school should have been left out of the picture, the classmate should have asked her mother to call your friend’s mother directly.January 6, 2010 2:28 pm at 2:28 pm #673090positiveaynayimMember
tamazaball- you really made me laugh when you addressed your post to “hashem”. I guess that would make it into the “most uncommon frum names” thread.
I find it interesting for a principal to do such a thing. Is it shayoch that he can’t find out all the information he needs without consulting older talimidim?January 6, 2010 3:57 pm at 3:57 pm #673091arcParticipant
When I was in HS (9th grade) the Menahel asked about the 8th graders of my school.
He said only tell me if you know them and which boys should we recruit.January 6, 2010 6:47 pm at 6:47 pm #673092richthefurrydocMember
I am reading two different issues. First is a student who might be suitable for the yeshiva’s incoming class but a shidduch between school and potential student has not yet taken place. There would be nothing wrong with asking current talmidim who the school might seek out for mutual benefit with no obligation to either side until formal application process takes place. That is how universities assemble their varsity athletic teams or encourage national merit scholars to attend.
The more questionable process involves assessment of a potential student who has already expressed interest which generally includes providing a cadre of personal references but the school then seeks additional references surreptitiously and without the candidate’s consent, or even knowledge. Dina d’malchut dina. There are states that have laws that specifically require disclosure of referee comments to the candidate unless specifically waived. The yeshiva seems to be bypassing that legal protection in what it is doing. The potentially unwelcome assessments of the student have no particular accountibility for what they say nor does the school incur a responsibility for verification. Probably not a good practice. I’ll let others assess whether it is appropriate to halacha.January 6, 2010 9:27 pm at 9:27 pm #673093bombmaniacParticipant
i think if a principle is going to do it…he should do it in private…not in front of a whole classJanuary 6, 2010 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm #673094
Hello99, I agree with the last part of what you said. The mother of the spy should have called the other mother if she was really concerned – not reported it to the school, if there was a toeles. But the truth is, the spygirl apparently observed NO inappropriate behavior, her friend was in a very public place, dressed tziusdikly, not appearing furtive, merely bowling. She should have been dan l’chaf zechus. And I left out the part where the mom WAS in fact threatened that the daughter would be suspended for her behavior. I did not think it was necessary to mention, but I now see it was.January 6, 2010 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm #673095
yeshivah kids are not reliable arbiters of what constitutes a good bochur to be accepted into a yeshivah. This is hitting an old nerve of mine, because something along these lines once happened to me before high school. I was the one asked about recommending students for getting certain grades in class, and I was very much shocked that the person who asked for my input, did so. I immediately said I was not comfortable with being put in that situation and excused myself from the conversation. It was a VERY, VERY awkward situation for me, knowing that this person was basically asking me, a student, to unethically give out the grades that I deemed “proper.” Don’t ask me how I resolved the situation – it was a private matter, and I would not disclose what I did to handle it.January 7, 2010 2:34 am at 2:34 am #673096
No it is not proper if even if only one boy in the yeshiva may know him for all you know it might be someone close to a boy in the yeshiva and he would get embarrassedJanuary 7, 2010 5:39 am at 5:39 am #673097liddleyiddleMember
If, as it seems, the principal is looking to find out as much as possible about the potential students before making the ultimate acceptance/rejection decision, I don’t see why he should not get as much information as he can.January 7, 2010 5:53 am at 5:53 am #673098
That may be so, liddleyiddle, but he should not be getting it from other students. It is showing them he suborns loshon hara, by actively encouraging it, and that he doesn’t have a more intelligent, productive, and proper way to get the information he needs to make a good decision (i.e. speaking to the child’s FORMER principal and teachers, not to mention the most important person – the actual child!).January 7, 2010 6:28 am at 6:28 am #673099
oomis:”It is showing them he suborns loshon hara, by actively encouraging it”
It isn’t Lashon HaRa when done for a to’eles (and meets the other criteria in Sefer Chofetz Chaim).
“he doesn’t have a more intelligent, productive, and proper way to get the information he needs to make a good decision (i.e. speaking to the child’s FORMER principal and teachers”
Contemporaries provide an important, different perspective then teachers and principals can provide. Additionally, friends may know information the child has taken pains to hide from figures of authority.
“not to mention the most important person – the actual child”
If you have ever interviewed someone for a job or school you would know that everyone puts their best foot forward for the interview, and without doing some prior research the value of the interview is seriously diminished.January 11, 2010 12:08 am at 12:08 am #673102
On one hand principals complain that children don’t respect them on the other hand they lower themselves to the level of “friend” and discuss with bochurim things that are not on their level to discuss. I don’t think this is appropriate at all! Who applies to the Yeshiva and who the Yeshiva interviews is and should remain confidential information between the applicant, the parents and the Yeshiva. It is no one’s business who was “not accepted” to any given Yeshiva and therefore discussing this with any talmid in the Yeshiva will result in Loshon Horah. Any talmid who asks the principal should be told that is not their concern.
In addition, why would any principal assume that any teenager is qualified to decide or have an opinion on whether another bochur is appropriate for the Yeshiva or not? Are they on the same level, with the same amount of knowledge and experience as a Rebbe, Principal or Rosh Yeshiva that they can make such a suggestion, recommendation or determination? Is it a test of the talmidim to see if they will say loshon horah on the incoming Talmid? Then the principal is potentially setting them up to fail and sin. That is halachically inappropriate. So what would be the purpose of that? It sounds like that principal is either immature or does not have enough confidence in himself to stay at the level of a grown up. Another teenager would not have the sechel to understand that children can learn and change, they can commit to doing better and even if they were shvach a year ago they could have worked hard to improve, if they misbehaved a year ago, they could have had an amazing Rebbe that helped them work on their midos and made strides in that as well. You have to think like an adult with compassion and common sense and not like a child.January 11, 2010 4:46 am at 4:46 am #673103
I am with Aries on this. There is something really skeevy about someone in the hanhala talking to kids about another kid who is not even IN the school. It is not up to children (even when they are teens) to discuss another child’s failings. The “good” kids will feel uncomfortable being put in that position, and those kids who are NOT uncomfortable, are IMO not such good kids.January 12, 2010 5:44 am at 5:44 am #673105
I am a bit confused. When you say he is the principal of High School and he discusses future talmidim with current talmidim what does that have to do with your age? High school students are still the same age, teen-agers. Did I miss something?January 12, 2010 6:35 am at 6:35 am #673106
“principals lower themselves to the level of “friend” and discuss with bochurim things that are not on their level to discuss”
I don’t think the issue here is “shmoozing” with students, it is garnering information from them. The bottom line is that friends know much more about each other than teachers and principals know about them, and they are freer about sharing honest info. Obviously the principal will take into consideration the maturity of the source of his information when determining its reliability.January 12, 2010 3:22 pm at 3:22 pm #673107
Hello99, I don’t agree, we are not talking shidduchim here, where someone is looking to friends to find out appropriate and accurate information. We are talking about High School and the selection process which has become an elitist society and an AAA club. It does not afford opportunities to the vast majority of K’lal Yisroel.
Snooping around among other talmidim and giving them the power to judge their peers in this way only promotes more of the same as well as Loshon Horah. It is a bad example of chinuch, ahavas achim, ben adom l’chaveiro and aneevus. Better to teach Kol Yisroel areivim zeh l’zeh. It is better to give opportunities to all types of students and help them grow and achieve.
It is better to keep kids out of these discussions and let the administration make up their own minds according to a child’s farher and incoming records. It is far better for an administration to give a kid a clean slate when they come and allow a child to prove themselves without past baggage to drag them down. You would be tremendously surprised how many children girls and boys who were given the opportunity in a new yeshiva to be reborn grabbed on to it like a solid brass ring and were totally successful.
When a child is told I don’t care what happened in the past that’s history. When you come into MY yeshiva you have a clean slate. I don’t want to hear any Loshon Horah on you, I didn’t listen yesterday and I don’t want anyone coming to me from here on in. Don’t give them reason to. Today we start fresh. Are you ready? Do you know the rules? Do you want to be here? Are you prepared to abide by them? Do we have an agreement then? Terrific, I am very happy to welcome you aboard.
If you need help in any area don’t be afraid to say so and we will get you the help you need right away so you don’t fall behind. Understand it is YOUR responsible to let us know, (your Rebbe or teacher) that you need help. If you fall behind it is your responsibility because I am offering you right now at this very moment to get you help if you need it. Everyone needs help every once in a while so don’t let it become an issue. We all have bumps in the road. Sometimes a little help goes a long way.
Any questions? I will get someone to show you around and get you acclimated.
Hello 99, what do you think happens in such a scenario? A kid that was told he was stupid, bad, incapable, can’t… all of a sudden feels that he can, that he is welcome that he belongs and that he can achieve because these people care about him and they will encourage him to get to his goals. He will feel the positive energy for everyone to move forward together instead of the race to make it to the top leaving those that slack behind. He knows that HE is accountable and responsible but also knows that he is not alone, he has support here.January 12, 2010 9:38 pm at 9:38 pm #673108
aries: I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree, because I see nothing wrong with a Yeshiva choosing to cater to a specific niche and feel that they are fully entitled to make all reasonable inquiries to insure incoming students match their criteria. There certainly is an important need filled by broad community schools, but specialized Yeshivos are also very important. Of course this enters a whole separate issue.
Everything you write about new students having a “clean slate” etc. is true, once the child has been accepted. However there is no reason a school should feel pressured to accommodate inappropriate students even if they may improve, they are fully entitled to select talmidim who have already demonstrated their abilities. We aren’t discussing 1st grade, 8th graders have had years to prove themselves already.January 12, 2010 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm #673109
aries I am in total agreement with u- give the kid a clean slate and give them a chance! I unfortunately went thru this a few times-only bec. they were not given a chance as well as accepting l”h…
B”H they got into yeshivos, but with a lot of agmas nefesh…January 13, 2010 12:19 am at 12:19 am #673111
I think the problem (among many others) with the principal speaking to the boys is also that it might give the principal a false preconceived notion. it is very hard to unring a bell, and when someone says something unflattering, i.e. the boy is not a serious learner, it is hard to shake that image. That’s not fair to the boy, who might be tring to make positive changes in his learning habits.January 13, 2010 3:36 am at 3:36 am #673112
Oomis1105 what if no one answers there is just the principal speaking then it is okay because the principal hears nothing wrong?January 13, 2010 4:37 am at 4:37 am #673113
oomis: and if the principal only asks former teachers and principals he can’t get “a false preconceived notion”???January 13, 2010 5:44 am at 5:44 am #673114
You know what this whole thing reminds me of? The warning we give to little kids about strangers. We tell them that if a stranger pulls up in a car and asks them for directions or to help them find his lost puppy, they should run fast in the opposite direction! WHY? Because adults SHOULD NOT BE ASKING kids for that type of help, and a menahel who is presumably responsible and authoritative,as well as experienced at his job, should not be asking young teenage kids for their opinions about how to do HIS job. Period.January 14, 2010 4:00 am at 4:00 am #673115
He isnt asking for help the boys are just asking questions nothing to do with the principals final decisionJanuary 14, 2010 4:39 am at 4:39 am #673116
oomis: he is not asking them “how to do HIS job”, he is asking for their observations. Perfecty legitimate.January 14, 2010 6:09 pm at 6:09 pm #673117
No it is not perfectly legitimate, hello99. Kids’ observations are based on KIDS’ point of view, which may not necessarily be a relevant one. What if they think the boy is a nerd or a loser (substitute any expression you want)? Who CARES what their opinion is? Unless they know for a fact that there is a really serious chisaron (they absolutely 100% for certain know the boy is a goniff, a drug user or seller, is a child molester, or the like), their opinion means nothing. People can become more serious about learning, less serious about learning, fake having good middos (anyone remember the old Leave it To Beaver series with Wally’s friend Eddie Haskell?. When a MENAHEL, supposedly a professional educator, requires the advice and opinion of talmidim as to the suitability of a future student, what is next? Will he also ask for their input when he hirse or fires teachers? In College, students fill out questionnaires at the end of the course, giving input about their teachers and the course. You don’t ask young teens for such opinions about other kids and think this is Torah m’Sinai.January 15, 2010 4:18 am at 4:18 am #673118
I am sorry Oomis but really you are wrong and Hello99 is 100% rightJanuary 15, 2010 4:59 am at 4:59 am #673119
Sorry Kollelboy but YOU are wrong. The job of the Talmidim is to learn! The job of the Principal is to do the administrative work and that includes making the decisions about applicants. Those discussions should be made in the office between those who interviewed the applicants, such as the ones who farhered him, maybe the guidance counselor, maybe his current Rebbe, and the parents of the applicant. He should take into account the application itself, the essay the child wrote, etc. Children should never have a say in whether another child gets accepted or not. It is irresponsible of a principal to do this. If he were a licensed principal or administrator I am quite sure that the board of licensing would look into this.January 15, 2010 7:53 am at 7:53 am #673120
oomis: “People can…fake having good middos”
exactly why the principal need to ask friends. A student is likely to fool authority where he puts on his best face, but will never fool his friends who see him when his hair is down.January 15, 2010 7:56 am at 7:56 am #673121
aries: “The job of the Principal is to do the administrative work and that includes making the decisions about applicants”
100% correct. And to make a proper decision he needs all the relevant information.
“Children should never have a say in whether another child gets accepted or not”
Also true. The child is not making the decision, he is just supplying a perspective.January 15, 2010 2:36 pm at 2:36 pm #673122
A child’s perspective is just that, the perspective of another child with their own spin on things. What makes you think a child does not have their own agenda at hand? That’s the problem here, a child is still a child. Maybe when they were younger there was an issue between them. Maybe subconsciously he remembers and disses the kid. Maybe there are only a few slots and he is rooting for his own friend or another kid? Kids are kids after all. What makes you think he is actually giving over his own perspective and not what he heard his old Rebbe say about the kid or what his parents said, or maybe because on of them said the kid is bad news he is agreeing and not sticking up for the applicant because he knows him on a different level.
Kids show off in front of each other to make themselves important. I can’t believe that you would put your trust in young H.S. boys to sway the opinion of the Principal. Its a game to them. They can say they don’t like a kid because he is fat, sloppy or has acne! Maybe because as a younger child he hated taking showers and he smelled bad or he didn’t like to share.
I think you are giving the kids too much credit here. I doubt that we are talking about Seniors because they probably wouldn’t know incoming talmidim, so it is most likely freshies or sophs. We are not talking about an older teen, more polished with a little more maturity and common sense.January 15, 2010 6:45 pm at 6:45 pm #673123
Sorry, hello, but a child’s perspective is completely irrelevant in such decisions. Today the kid is best friends with the kid he hated on the previous day. Kids should be kids, and responsible adults should take their responsibilities to heart and leave the kids out of these types of decisions. It is simply inapprorpiate.January 16, 2010 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm #673124
aries: “A child’s perspective is just that, the perspective of another child with their own spin on things. What makes you think a child does not have their own agenda at hand?”
True, but an ADULT’S perspective is ALSO just the perspective of another adult with THEIR own spin on things. What makes you think an ADULT does not have their own agenda at hand.
The answer is that a responsible, professional principal gathers all the relevant info he can, and weighs it proportionally to make his final decision.January 17, 2010 2:55 am at 2:55 am #673125
If an “adult” principal needs the advice of a child, he is in the wrong profession!January 17, 2010 4:02 am at 4:02 am #673126
No that is not true why should the principal know these new boys maybe other than the interview he has never met the kid in his lifeJanuary 17, 2010 4:10 pm at 4:10 pm #673127
Kollelboy, give it up. That is how school works. NEWBIES come in every year, and the Principal is not supposed to know them. How could he? Is a school supposed to take only those they know? I am sorry to tell you this Kollelboy, if a school had to rely on that principle, they would have to close down.January 17, 2010 5:00 pm at 5:00 pm #673128jphoneMember
The child was in school prior to this interview. If this principle has questions, he SHOULD ask them, however, there are adults he could ask (this kid WAS in school until this point and had teachers and a principle) he should not be asking other kids.January 17, 2010 6:33 pm at 6:33 pm #673129
Jphone is absolutely correct — you ask the adults who are nogeya l’inyan, and you ask more than one, so you get a variety of responses.January 19, 2010 12:32 am at 12:32 am #673130
You have boys who know him right in front of you why go through the trouble of asking someone elseJanuary 19, 2010 1:09 am at 1:09 am #673131
Because it is not the Principal’s business to know that there are boys right in front of him that know incoming applicants. What if the Board of Directors sent an inquiry out to all the parents of the school to inform them that Mr. X is applying for the job of Principal. Does anyone have any knowledge of Mr. X? Please bring your opinions forward so we can evaluate them before we make a decision.
Kollelboy, do you think that is what happens when the position of principal is filled? Do you think that all the parents are questioned? Do you think that is the right way to go about it? What about hiring a Rebbe, maybe the entire Parent body should give their opinions on that too. Maybe somebody heard something about the applicant from a friend that had him in another yeshiva. Maybe their own child had him in another yeshiva. Why is he changing jobs anyway? For that matter why did the principal change jobs? Yeah, why weren’t the parents asked about it? Some pertinent information could have come forth.
Isn’t it more important to know the background and the real lowdown on a mechanech coming in who will be a role model for the children, than to know which children will be coming in? Does that seem appropriate to you? Well if it doesn’t then kal v’chomer it is not appropriate for a principal to be questioning talmidim on incoming students.
EDITEDJanuary 19, 2010 1:48 am at 1:48 am #673132HIEParticipant
L’maisa I don’t think it is the wrong thing if the principal asks a mature bachur and also the gemara In taanis says that a melamed learns the most from his talmidim
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