Rebbi Smacking Kids

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  • #593473

    achosid
    Participant

    It’s the year 2010. Is there any heter for a rebbi to smack a kid?

    #719514

    real-brisker
    Member

    Litvishe yeshiva or Chasidisha cheder?

    #719515

    chesedname
    Participant

    Heter???

    It’s up to the parents, to allow or not allow. I think most don’t allow it today.

    #719516

    bezalel
    Participant

    It depends on the state. In New Jersey it is illegal in all schools. In New York corporal punishment is legal in private schools but illegal in public schools.

    There is no distinction between Litvish or Chasidish schools.

    #719517

    Homeowner
    Member

    Only if one is matir a despicable and disgusting practice.

    #719518

    amichai
    Participant

    not allowed at all. you can give the child a time out, sit him in the principals office, but never use the hands.

    #719520

    I’d rather send my children to public school than to a place where the teacher is allowed to smack a child – even very lightly.

    #719521

    apushatayid
    Participant

    Obviously, the law of the state (if in the us) is the final say. Absent any law, what does the year 2010 have to do with it? Either you believe this is a valid expression of chinuch or you don’t.

    #719524

    Homeowner
    Member

    “valid expression of chinuch”

    More like an expression of child abuse.

    #719526

    real-brisker
    Member

    Bezalel – It is more common in the chasidishe yeshivos rather than in the litveshe yishevos to smack kids, so Im saing is that it depends on the backround.

    #719527

    aries2756
    Participant

    NO, NO, NO, NO ABSOLUTELY NOT!!! There is no excuse, none. If a Rebbe loves a talmid he can find another way to discipline a child. On the flip side, it is obvious if a Rebbe does NOT love the talmid he has no place at all potching a child because it is only done in anger. So that knocks ALL their excuses out right from the start.

    It is “ABUSE” any which way you look at it. In this day and age, the rules of “don’t touch others’ children” are VERY, VERY clear. If a Rebbe hits your child he is out of control and does not belong in the classroom. And if he hit your child he has hit others before.

    Many, many moons ago, when my boys were in elementary yeshiva in BP (actually a chasidish yeshiva) I was head of PTA. At any rate, I was carpooling the boys and one of the boys mentioned that the Rebbe swung his belt with the buckle out and knocked out a child’s tooth. This was the 4th grade. I was appalled. I dropped off the kids in the front of the building and went to park my car. I went back to the classroom and peeked in the window of the class. It was a zoo. The Rebbe could not get control of the class. It was obvious why he resorted to the dangerous tactics that he did and that he didn’t have the knowledge and training he needed to be a Rebbe for that age boys.

    I knocked on the door and called him out to speak with him. I asked him about that incident. I asked him if he had ever touched my son? I told him that he is not allowed to touch any child. He told me that he would not hit my child again. I told him that he is lucky that the parents did not sue the Yeshiva for what he did and even more lucky that he only knocked out the child’s tooth and not his eye or bust his eardrum! I told him that he didn’t hear me correctly. That if I heard that he touched ANY child again, I personally would call the police and have him removed from the building.

    My next stop was to the Rosh’s office to relay the events that just occurred. I warned the Rosh, who was a very warm and loving man, that they were at risk for a law suit because of this Rebbe and he needs to set him straight. I also repeated that if I hear that he touched another child I personally would call the police. The two of us had years of history and understood each other very well.

    #719528

    real-brisker
    Member

    Aries – Is it any better for a parent to smack a child?

    #719529

    apushatayid
    Participant

    Homeowner. Is there a position I have taken on this topic that you disagree with?

    #719530

    not I
    Member

    If kids used to get hit in the shtetel why do you think kids today don’t deserve it?

    Kids just get more and more obnoxious, mischevious and chutzpadik as the yrs go on!

    #719531

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    It is much worse for a parent to hit.

    Parents are supposed to love their children unconditionally, so it is so much more hurtful when they sacrifice their child’s well being for some quiet on the telephone, or to not have a messy living room, or whatever is more important than the child.

    #719532

    aries2756
    Participant

    RB, C”V, no absolutely not, but that wasn’t the question presented, the question was about the Rebbe. In some instances depending on the age of the child a parent might find that a potch on the behind serves a purpose, like a child running into the street, where a discussion about the danger of doing so will have no effect. Again depending on the age of the child and circumstances.

    And, RB, a potch on the behind for a dangerous circumstance is not equivalent to smacking a child which is only done in anger. A rule for parents is to take two deep breaths before reacting. If you try to calm down before reacting your reaction would be more logical and not physical. You would either remove yourself to calm down or tell your child to walk away till you calm down.

    As far as the Rebbe is concerned, there was a great Rebbe in that yeshiva which both my boys had I think in the 5th grade I am not sure. The Rebbe I believe is still there. At any rate, whenever the boys did something wrong and needed discipline he would tell them “remind me later that I owe you a potch”. That was it. He got his message across without touching anyone. And this is the same Rebbe that played basketball, dodge ball and arranged trips for them. Did this Rebbe love his talmidim? Yes, every one of the them. And that’s why he is a Rebbe.

    #719534

    joe1
    Member

    I know that in the UK the non jewish law prohibits it

    #719535

    aries2756
    Participant

    Joe, that’s the law here as well!

    #719537

    joe1
    Member

    Ok

    #719538

    real-brisker
    Member

    I dont think we are talking about law in this thread, I think we are handeling haskhaficky. Not everything that the law prohibits or approves is halachiklyhaskafikly correct.

    #719539

    Mayan_Dvash
    Participant

    One should not strike the Rebbi. There ARE other non-physical ways to get people back in line.

    ;

    #719541

    joe1
    Member

    yes but as far as i know the jews are meant to keep the non jewish law

    #719543

    bezalel
    Participant

    My first post was just about the legalities, now I’ll discuss the practicalities. I don’t believe that a teacher smacking a child today with any regularity has any justification. (Would you allow a math teacher to smack a child? What is the difference.) Children today understand that there are many teaching styles and will view a teacher that smacks as a teacher that cannot control the students and resorts to violence. Regardless of the truth, a teacher that does not have the respect of the students cannot be an effective teacher.

    If smacking were limited to extreme instances (not more than once per semester) and clearly demonstrated that the teacher was in full control a case can be made for its justification.

    #719544

    bezalel
    Participant

    Not everything that the law prohibits or approves is halachiklyhaskafikly correct.

    But we still need to take it into considuration.

    #719546

    real-brisker
    Member

    joe1 – Oh really! Jews are required to keep the non jewish law when the torah (halacha-haskafa) says not like that?

    #719547

    real-brisker
    Member

    Bezalel – If by the torah it is correct why in the world do you have to take it into consideration. I dont mean to say lets not be gores the non-jewish law. What I mean is if this is the proper way to be machanch kids, I dont think the non-jewish law should stop us.

    #719548

    bpt
    Participant

    Never. Period.

    #719550

    artchill
    Participant

    Real-Brisker:

    Besides for Dina D’Malchusa, there is also an inyan of Naval Birshus Hatorah.

    The Torah never condoned ABUSE of any type.

    It’s tzedreiter logic to say, “If this is the proper way to be machanch kids, I dont think the non-jewish law should stop us”. There is a reason why Rav wolbe and others wrote and gave speeches on the proper interaction with children in the realm of chinuch.

    The Mishnayos in Avos dictate what personality types should NOT be involved in chinuch.

    #719551

    BEST IMA
    Participant

    Never, Ever, Ever. Nobody should ever lift a hand to anyone elses child i dont care who he is. Rebbe, counselor, anyone. Never. My father had a counselor who slapped him on the side of his head he busted his eardrum. Even after numerous surgeries he was never able to hear with that ear again.

    #719552

    bezalel
    Participant

    Bezalel – If by the torah it is correct why in the world do you have to take it into consideration. I dont mean to say lets not be gores the non-jewish law. What I mean is if this is the proper way to be machanch kids, I dont think the non-jewish law should stop us.

    Because the Torah itself instructs us to follow the government’s law. I know there are exceptions but I don’t beleive this instance is such an exception.

    #719553

    tzippi
    Member

    It is no longer considered a good chinuch option. Nisktanu hadoros. Not just the kids, but the parents and teachers. Whenever potching has been done it was imperative that it was clear that the potcher loved and cared for the child. Children will pick that up more easily from their parents than their teachers. It was never supposed to be the most widely used tool in the arsenal.

    #719554

    The Shulchan Oruch says not to hit like an enemy nor to hit cruelly; the rebbi or parent should hit the child with a small strap (Yorah Deah 245:10/Orach Chayim 551:18).

    #719555

    yaff80
    Participant

    The view of a Rebbe:

    I am a Rebbi of Grade 6 boys. From my experience, boys like and respect a Rebbi/teacher who respects them. Its a mishna – “aizehu mechubod, hamechabeid es haberiyois”.

    Talmidim resent tough approach. I see myself, when getting too tough, ie shouting yelling etc, the kids hate it, and close into themselves, dislike the rebbe/teacher, and it takes time to repair the relationship.

    Talk to them in a caring way, explain to them why what they did was wrong, they are good people, and the expectations are higher, the kid will not want to let you down. By building that sort of relationship with the kid, you stand far more chance.

    I have the type of relationship with my talmidim, where a mere look at them as though saying why, results in them choosing the correct behaviour, because they feel they dont want to let me down/ruin their relationship with me.

    All this without raising a voice or finger at them!

    Two things to remember:

    1)They dont mean it personally when they misbehave. This avoids the anger issue. If you do feel anger, tell the child to see after the session. By then you should have calmed down, and deal with the issue sensibly.

    2) When chastisng a child, tell him/her he/she is good etc, but they made the wrong choice this time. Explain why it was wrong and what they could do differently next time. (better still, have a discussion with the said pupil, in a way that they figure it out themselves. This helps their growth)

    Hatzlacha to all mechanchim out there! Its tough, but the reward is immense – lefumm tzara agra!

    #719556

    BEST IMA
    Participant

    Trying My Best: I dont think that Shulchan Oruch is applicable nowadays. Anyone that hits a child with a belt is going to have that child and all the rest of their children taken away from them. Social Services isnt very big on straps.

    #719557

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    This is my 4th attempt to post on this thread.

    Any time you do something which affects someone else, you need to ask two questions:

    1. Is this a effective method to accomplish my goal?

    2. Is this a justifiable method of accomplishing my goal?

    So, you see, much depends on what the goal is.

    If the goal is to help the kid himself, the second question may be satisfied, but I personally don’t think the first is.

    If the goal is to help other kids, the second question is not satisfied, since one is not allowed to hurt one person to help another.

    If the goal is anything else, the second question is clearly not satisfied.

    #719558

    Bezalel mentioned that in New York parents and private-school teachers are legally allowed to hit children.

    #719559

    Homeowner
    Member

    apushatayid, if you state your position, I can let you know if I agree or not.

    #719560

    According to Wikipedia, 48 U.S. States allow private schools to spank children, and 20 (mostly in the south) also allow public/state schools to spank children.

    There is no conflict between the Shulchan Aruch saying to spank and secular law.

    #719561

    real-brisker
    Member

    artchil, bezalel – You are not undestanding me correctly. I am not saying if its the right way to be mechanch or not. All I am saying is – Is that the non-jewish law shall NOT tell us how to be mechanech or not. (Im not saying potching is the right thing)

    #719562

    blueprints
    Participant

    there is a gmoro in gittin (did it in yr9) about a teacher mikri dardeki who rev acha made him make a neder in public not to teach cos he hit children too much and revina was mevatel the neder cos he was the best teacher.

    so hitting children who are naughty is alright in small quantities and these people make the best teachers.

    feed on that people.

    #719564

    yaff80
    Participant

    Blueprints:

    “so hitting children who are naughty is alright in small quantities and these people make the best teachers.”

    As a Rebbe I disagree with you wholeheartedly.

    Each Dor has its means and ways. Perhaps in the times of the Ravina etc, it worked.

    Nowadays, you hit a kid, you risk being the cause of that child going off the derech.

    Is it worth the risk?

    Perhaps daas Torah would be in order, until then I am not prepared to take risk my dear Talmidim losing it!

    #719565

    BEST IMA
    Participant

    blueprints i hear what you’re saying. Unfortunately nowadays not all teachers hit with that in mind. Most of them that do hit dont do it out of love to teach the child they do it out of anger. I had a principal hit my son and it was done with such anger he slammed him in the head and his head slammed into a metal locker. He was so dizzy the bus driver had to practically carry him onto the bus. The bus driver saw the whole thing and he flipped out. He couldnt believe thats what went on in Jewish schools. He said if we werent going to sue then he would report the principal himself! We convinced him that it was not normal and those kind of things dont happen in jewish schools, but we took all of our boys out of that school real fast! That is NOT being mechanech a child. That is child abuse.

    #719566

    I think if you need to hit the student, then you as a teacher have an issue. If you are respected, even if you are not liked, the students will respect you, and you dont need to hit them. Obviously kids will be kids and wont be perfect, but dont forget, children are extremely impressionable, and will NOT forget it.

    #719567

    bezalel
    Participant

    real-brisker:

    The law in New Jersey states that a teacher cannot hit a student.

    The Torah says we must follow the state law.

    Therefore (as I see it) the Torah is telling us that the proper way (for a teacher) to be mechanech in New Jersey is without hiting a student.

    #719569

    real-brisker
    Member

    bezalel – And if the law in maine is that it is assur to do a bris milah on one son C”V, are you going to say the torah wants us to listen to the law?

    #719570

    blueprints
    Participant

    all of those people who say it’s wrong are so sure of themselves but jews have been doing it for some time no-one denies that maybe some people need a re-think (not that I know the right thing to do)

    #719572

    bezalel
    Participant

    real-brisker:

    In your hypothetical Maine case, you have a direct controdiction and cannot fulfill both the mitzva and the law. There is no halacha that states that a teacher is obligated to hit a student.

    #719573

    Bezalel: Chosech Shivto Soneh Bno.

    #719574

    aries2756
    Participant

    blue, do you have any idea how many kids grew up hating their parents and rebbeim for hitting them? And lets go a step further, do you know how many never got over it and haven’t forgiven them? I don’t have the statistics on this but there are many.

    #719575

    bezalel
    Participant

    Trying my best:

    I’m not talking about a parent, I’m talking about a teacher. And in case you were wondering, New Jersey law allows a parent to hit their child.

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