Monday, May 22, 2006

Another way of spinning it

It has been brought to my attention that when Rav Shteinman told the assembled teacher of torah at the recent Torah Umesorah Convention to avoid class trips and to avoid playing sports with their students, he was, perhaps, making a veiled reference to the Kolko case. It's been suggested that, in his own way, he was telling teachers to mantain a strict professional distance from their charges.

There is some merit to this interpretation I suppose, and without having heard the whole of Rav Shteinman's speech, it's impossible for me to say. However, I will still insist that given the stench of scandal still swirling over our Camps and Yeshivahs much more than veiled references are needed; also, telling teachers to avoid all informal contact with their students is an over-reaction.

What's needed aren't bans on ball playing. [For heaven's sake: No more bans!] What's needed are intelligent guidelines, the very sort of guidelines that already exist in most secular, and modern Jewish day schools. And I firmly believe that if you are a parent you have a sacred obligation to make sure that such guidelines are in place before you sign the deposit check for camp or school - not because I think there is a monster in every camp, but because proper protocols are what keeps a monster at bay.

Why give the monster room to operate? Isn't a proper parent required to make sure the door isn't left unlocked? Ask your camp and yeshiva to publish their guidelines, and if they won't make fast tracks to the competition.

PS - Along with the ban on bans, can those of you who are so concerned with the honor of the Gedolim please take five? Really, your endless cries of "Respect" have gotten tedioius. I swear to you, none of us mean the gedolim any harm, and we hold them all in the highest regard, even if we don't always take the time for niceties like honorifics and other formalities. If you think we've misunderstood something they said, give us your spin. That's what the comment threads are for; also, setting up a blog for counter-opinions is free and easy. Screaming "Respect" and the like over and over again, isn't helpful, and tells us only that you haven't got an idea in your head. Instead of taking the lazy way out, why don't you show us where we've gone wrong, or offer a new interpretation (as in this post.)

No comments: