School Busing on Thanksgiving in Lakewood

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  • #600613

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    It seems NJ law requires school children to be bused whenever school is open and in Lakewood they are open on Thanksgiving.

    The drivers are unhappy because they want to spend the time with their families (and are not getting paid extra)

    #834752

    cantoresq
    Member

    I don’t know if requiring the bus drivers to work on Thanksgiving is a chilul Hashem. It probably isn’t. But doing what’s necessary to give them the day off, would be a big kiddush Hashem.

    #834753

    squeak
    Participant

    I find a sad irony in this. After all the work that went into getting the law to recognize our right to celebrate all our holidays and sabbaths without penalty, one would think that we’d automatically show sensitivity to the few holidays the goyim observe.

    Offering to give the drivers a free pumkpin pie is just a slap in the face that underscores the insensitivity being shown. Imagine if your boss demands you come in on Rosh Hashana, and in response to your protest offers to give you a jar of honey for coming in. This is no different in their eyes.

    #834754

    apushatayid
    Participant

    Didnt hear any bus drivers complain on chol hamoed.

    #834755

    yitayningwut
    Participant

    It’s not a question of sensitivity. They are required by law to work and they knew that when they took the job and bid for the district with the Jewish routes.

    People should have a little shtultz and realize that these are a few whiners who think they are above the rules and enjoy the fact that they can exploit the Jews by putting us on a guilt trip and subtly reminding us that we are supposed to feel like second-class citizens.

    And the comparison to civil rights is ignorant. There is Freedom of Religion in this country. As for a Jew being let off work for a Jewish holiday, if it was not stipulated beforehand I absolutely agree that he should not be let off work and his boss has a right to fire him. Or take a sick day or something. In this case it is part of the job description. So stop feeling guilty and have some shtultz.

    #834756

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    I dont complain when I get off December 25 or Jan 1st either

    #834757

    BTGuy
    Participant

    Turkey Day is a very big holiday for non-Jews. It starts their family holiday season. I don’t think they have to bend over backwards to prove how important it is to them. 99.99% of school employees in America expect there to be certain holidays they dont work out of consideration to them, not whether other decide it’s important to them or not.

    This situation is being handled to show a gross lack of understanding and leadership, if not outright insult to the bus drivers. If we can do a chesed for them and handle it like a day when it snows and parents have to arrange to pick up their children, that would also show rachmonus.

    As it stands now, the air is so filled with tension and resentment, the double chilul Hashem is the situation was handled in such a way that our children will be ones on the front lines boarding the bus and c”vs have to deal with dirty looks at best.

    I dont think these elected officials are representing what the majority of Lakewood wants in this matter.

    #834758

    yitayningwut
    Participant

    It is not a “gross lack of understanding and leadership, if not outright insult to the bus drivers” when this is part of the drivers’ contract. It is completely pathetic that people are being led down a guilt trip because of this.

    #834759

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Those who are in favor of them working, repeat that the next Purim Chol Hamoed or Tisha B’av that you want off

    #834760

    yitayningwut
    Participant

    I agree. Unless the terms of my job stipulate that I have off those days.

    #834761

    squeak
    Participant

    yitaningwat-

    I’m sorry, but I disagree with you. It’s not for you to decide if its an insult, only the drivers can tell you how they feel. It most definitely is a question of sensitivity, and I think your replies underscores that. You are demonstrating a lack of sensitivity to their position. I might have the right to tell my employees to come to work over the weekend, for example, but it is insensitive of me to do so when they have a family wedding on Saturday.

    You take for granted our civil rights, probably because you weren’t around before that. To call me ignorant is well, shall we say ignorant? At the very least its insulting, can we agree on that? Insensitive?

    #834762

    TheGoq
    Participant

    One of the complaints of the people who side with the drivers is that think because we don’t observe thanksgiving we don’t appreciate being Americans.

    #834763

    yitayningwut
    Participant

    I don’t agree. Civil rights are rights. To take off on a day that you signed up for is not a right. Not every time that someone whines do we have to give in. This is not called being sensitive, it is called being a pushover.

    Again, my point is that this is part of the job, and we all knew Thanksgiving was going to happen when they took the route. Your example about your employee taking off for a wedding is not relevant therefore, because being that it is an unforeseen circumstance, I can see that it would be insensitive of you not to let them off. Thanksgiving is not an unforeseen circumstance. The ones being insensitive are the bus drivers, not the schools.

    #834764

    lesschumras
    Participant

    Thanksgiving is an Anticancer holiday,not a boyish one

    #834765

    apushatayid
    Participant

    From the bits and pieces I am picking up here, seems to me that the bus drivers should have a beef with their employer(s) not the reciepients of the service. Their employers signed a contract and it is their responsibility to know what they signed. If they assumed and assumed wrong, again, they are at fault, not parents who get the service. Admittedly, they are easier targets, but still doesn’t make them legitimate targets.

    #834766

    squeak
    Participant

    I accept that you disagree, but may I state that it is quite obvious you have a child who depends on the busing service?

    #834767

    ☕️coffee addict
    Participant

    I think its major Chillul Hashem it was on 1010 wins this morning that all the bus drivers were upset.

    #834768

    yitayningwut
    Participant

    Nope. Whether or not they work will have no effect on my life. Actually, I’d rather they not work. Lack of bus traffic is always a relief.

    I’m just a very opinionated fellow.

    #834769

    yitayningwut
    Participant

    I apologize for coming on a little strong in my previous posts. I had a rough day and it showed. I’m sorry.

    My opinion is still the same of course.

    #834770

    I feel bad for the bus drivers. I hate going to work on sundays on chanukah cuz everyone else is partying.(B”H I don’t have to often but when i do i hate leaving all the family together.)

    #834771

    student
    Participant

    This why people HATE us. Just look at what has been going on in frum neighborhoods lately. Remember we are still in golus, regardless of how much money we pay in taxes, or how much power we think we have in government. This is a huge chilul Hashem.

    #834772

    OneOfMany
    Participant

    I grew up in NJ and distinctly remember not having busing on legal holidays…when did they change this?

    #834773

    apushatayid
    Participant

    I don’t live in Lakewood and don’t know the dynamics of the contract between the schools, the school districs, the state governement, the bus company and the students who get bussed. Who entered into a contract with whom to provide bussing on “school days”? Who agreed to those terms and who is the beneficiary of those terms? Who hired the drivers? Under what terms? Did the terms of the contract change since inception that suddenly people are surprised?

    Based on what people are writing here, seems that if drivers have a beef with anyone, it is their emploers who entered into a contract at terms they the drivers, don’t like. There is no chillul hashem here (unless a jew owns the bus company, was aware of these terms and neglected to tell the drivers).

    #834774

    ☕️coffee addict
    Participant

    Bpgirl,

    I know how you feel

    #834775

    squeak
    Participant

    OneofMany,

    Exactly.

    #834777

    apushatayid
    Participant

    For what its worth, I also have to go into work on Thanksgiving. I knew that when I took my job, do I have a legitimate beef with my employer that I have to go in thanksgiving?

    #834778

    agittayid
    Participant

    It seems that the yeshivas notified the authorities only recently that they required bus service this Thanksgiving. In past years I believe, the yeshivas graciously did not require buses on Thanksgiving allowing the drivers to celebrate the holidays with their families. Perhaps, it would have been helpful if the yeshivas had notified the authorities earlier in the year about this change. The drivers would have been able to change their holiday plans and get used to the idea that they would be working on Thanksgiving.

    #834779

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    The drivers never had to work Thanksgiving before. I think the ruling came down from the City education department lawyer (Who is Frum) as is the owner of the bus company.

    Also 6 of the 9 school board members are frum. Out of 24,000 students in Lakewood, 19,000 go to yeshivas.

    This also shows back door yeshiva tutition help from the government. The Buses are free and paid for by taxpayers

    #834780

    gregaaron
    Member

    Forgive my ignorance, but I don’t live in New Jersey (B”H)- do they have school bus service on Sundays year-round? If so, presumably Thanksgiving would be the same thing. And if not, there takeh shouldn’t be busing, just like every other secular school district in the country (even when it’s frum-controlled, such as Lawrence or East Ramapo).

    #834781

    BTGuy
    Participant

    Hi yitayninwut. It is part of their contract to work. Perhaps the contract needs to be modified. Perhaps not. BUT….

    Are you really suggesting the drivers grievance is to manipulate and guilt the Jews? That is at the root of this??

    Do you see ANY merit to the idea that Thanksgiving is genuinely one of their biggest family days, and that as school employees, they may be the only ones in the country driving that day because it is mandatory??

    Workers not liking a contract or anyone with any kind of “arrangement” have the total right to express their dislike and request and express a change. You can argue the other side, but their case has merit.

    Again, this is not being handled professional by our town non-leaders who have added insult to injury.

    #834782

    apushatayid
    Participant

    The way you describe it (I have not heard this reported elsewhere, nor do I care to look online for the story), you make it look like a back room deal between the district board (which is controlled by frum jews) and the company (owned by frum jews), with the employees left holding the bag. Is this what the employees (the drivers) are claiming and grumbling about?

    #834783

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    What I heard was, There is a law in NJ that buses must be provided for private schools whenever they are open.

    Last Memorial Day there was no buses and they gave the drivers off, One of the residents who knew this law complained to the school board saying this was illegal and the lawyer for the school board agreed.

    Obviously this law was made for minor holidays like Columbus day or Martin Luther King day, but the School board is enforcing this for Thanksgiving which is a major holiday for familes and they do seem to be deaf to the drivers complaints inclusing saying he will give the drivers pumpkin pie.

    #834784

    yitayningwut
    Participant

    BTGuy –

    I do understand that. But why did they have to take a private school route? What are we supposed to do exactly? It isn’t fair to us.

    I am not saying that there is this grand scheme to manipulate our feelings. I’m not such a conspiracist. However, I do think that on some level this is the – perhaps unconscious – motive of all people who complain about not getting something they do not deserve.

    One more thing. How can people say it’s a chillul Hashem when it is part of their contract? There is no manipulating on our part. We are not doing anything wrong. I am fully aware that there are some angry feelings directed at us but angry feelings do not equal chillul Hashem. They may equal guilty conscience. But not chillul Hashem.

    #834785

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    But why did they have to take a private school route?

    Because Lakewood is the only district in NJ that the majority of students are in private school, if they didnt take those routes there would be no work

    Approx 75% of students in Lakewood go to Jewish Schools

    #834786

    yitayningwut
    Participant

    According to Michael Inzelbuch:

    “Please be formally reminded that pursuant to contract, New Jersey Administrative Code, and information provided by the New Jersey Department of Education as recently as yesterday, bussing must be provided on November 24, 2011 (Thanksgiving) unless same is not required by the school(s) you serve.” (from The Lakewood Scoop)

    This doesn’t sound backdoor to me. This sounds like something perfectly legitimate which some disgruntled people are upset about, but cannot say they were tricked into.

    #834787

    BTGuy
    Participant

    Hi yitayningwut. I hear what you are saying. You do have an argument with ground to stand on. I prefer to side with the drivers and their position.

    It seems both of our points have merit as reports are coming out that many yeshivos are voluntarily foregoing busing for the afternoon, giving the drivers the rest of the day to spend the holiday with their families. Will those drivers still get a pumpkin pie? lol

    #834788

    yitayningwut
    Participant

    zahavasdad –

    Most of these drivers don’t even live in Lakewood (that’s how it was when I was growing up, I would imagine more so now). They could have taken a public school route in Jackson or Howell for the same price.

    BTGuy –

    Lol, the pumpkin pie thing is a joke.

    #834789

    OneOfMany
    Participant

    Hmm…maybe we should give in on this issue in order to save face from the B110 debacle…:P

    #834790

    yitayningwut
    Participant

    OneOfMany –

    The only similarity between the two cases is that they both involve bussing. Be that as it may, that was a legal issue. This is not.

    #834791

    OneOfMany
    Participant

    I’m not trying to draw legal parallels. I’m trying to look at it from the goy’s perspective. He doesn’t really care that what they are doing is legally correct, because he thinks it’s morally wrong. Same as by the B110, no?

    #834792

    apushatayid
    Participant

    I’m not an expert in Thanksgiving day celebrations or how to celebrate, but isnt Thanksgiving known for watching football and eating dinner with family? Just ensure the drivers are home by then. when is kickoff for the first game of the day, 3:00?

    #834793

    BTGuy
    Participant

    Hi apushatayid. It is part of what they do..lol. Frankly, I oppose the holiday for historical reasons as when the Europeans were inept at surviving the winters here, it was the Native Americans who befriended them and taught them to survive, only to be paid back with the wiping out of their people. Nice hakaras hatov. Like Halloween, the meanings of those holidays dilute and morph so much, they lose their meaning. BUT…it is a big day for their families to cook and socialize together and visit others, and it’s not up to me to validate their holiday and what it represents to them.

    #834794

    yitayningwut
    Participant

    OneOfMany –

    True, but when there may be a possibility that it is legally wrong I can see that it would be a chillul Hashem. In this case, besides for the fact that legally they have no argument, since it is part of their contract it is unfair for the schools. The fact that someone complains doesn’t create a moral imperative to cancel his/her obligations. I can complain too.

    #834795

    apushatayid
    Participant

    What Newspaper stirred up the whole school bus “issue”on thanksgiving?

    I would like to send a letter to the editor of said publication. For those who follow sports, the NBA season, after a lockout of the players that lasted several months is scheduled to begin their schedule on December 25th. Where is the outcry against the league for starting the season on a holiday and scheduling 5 games? Traditionally the league has had a double header on the 25th, but this season they scheduled 5. I am curious what the editorial staff of this publication feels about the fact that the arena staff (and in the case of some cities, additional mass transit to and from the arena, additional police to maintain traffic flow etc.) has to come in to work, on a day they normally would not.

    #834796

    TheGoq
    Participant

    It was the Asbury Park Press that ran several stories about this with glee.

    #834797

    apushatayid
    Participant

    Thank you.

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