School dilemma

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    A close relative who is involved in school acceptance told me of the following dilemma.

    A young girl, “a erliche maidel fun a erliche mishpocho” was married for a short while to someone, and returned home to her parents expecting twins. The children use their mother’s maiden name, and are growing up basically as siblings of their mother and her siblings – they have uncles and aunts their age and younger.

    Unfortunately their father is no longer so frum. The children visit him every sunday afternoon, where they often watch TV. This is one of the highlights of the week.

    They have now applied for high school. all the other boys in the fmaily have been to the school, and it is logical to accept them. however the school has an iron clad rule – no TV access.

    The little I know

    This may sound revolutionary, but here goes. I believe it is the absolute obligation of the school, if even to justify their very existence, to take these two children and work with them. There is greater danger to their future and that of Klal Yisroel by rejecting them.

    Their iron clad rule about no TV access is frankly stupid, not that I have a favorable opinion about TV. Chas veshalom. If our yeshivos cannot work to be mekarev talmidim, then they have no right to purport to be institutions that promulgate learning of Torah. Rejecting a Jewish child is not Ratzon Hashem.

    Our yeshivos today have excelled in creating stricter and dumber criteria about admissions. Together with that form of rejection, they have also expanded their criteria to help them throw talmidim out into the street at rates that are alarming. Yes, many hundreds of them. Such rejections are tantamount to spiritual murder, and are not excusable. I wonder when there will be mass rebellion to change the approach to chinuch to be inclusive. The exclusivity has not produced Gedolei Yisroel, nor has it attracted anyone to Derech Hashem. Moreover, those Gedolei Yisroel that have made their feelings about chinuch known have been 100% clear about how Kiruv is the mission that must be first and foremost in Torah chinuch. Trouble is, no one listens.


    They visit him one afternoon a week they do not have a tv in their home, the fact that tv is the highlight of their week is something the mother and her family needs to deal with, but like it or not he is their father and he has the legal right to see them as long as he is not abusive in anyway.


    The rules of the school are supposed to be about those who actually attend.

    Avram in MD

    I admittedly have very little knowledge about this topic; however, it seems to me that policies such as “iron clad no TV access”, while well intentioned, are essentially blind criteria that weed out without requiring any effort on the part of the school. From what I’ve read, a yeshiva used to examine each prospective talmid – ask them questions, get to know them. That way, the school could prepare to teach the student appropriately, and if for some reason it was not a good situation to admit the student, e.g., he held strong opinions that the rebbe felt was dangerous to the spiritual well being of other students, then another solution could be found.


    They should stop watching, or choose a different school. Because they’ll invariably end up talking about it in school and getting in trouble.

    (unless they ask around and determine that everyone in the school has TV’s anyway)


    No, they have to be accepted for who they are at the moment.


    They should go to a school where they can be comfortable with themselves.


    so public school?

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