I am a mechanech at a boys elementary school. Our school and several others in our locale chose to make a rule that the boys should not bring the popular rainbow loom bracelets to school. The schools didn’t “ban” them. They simply made a rule that they should not be brought to school, no different than a mosad making a rule that a boy should bring other distracting items with them to school. In this case, there was also a safety concern, as the bands were being shot like slingshots at other students.
It seems that some people don’t think so. In fact, my fellow rabbeim were surprised that the fundamental, important rule has become fodder for discussion online, on frum sites no less.
The simply rule was, of course, reported as a “ban.” Saying it is a “ban” always sounds worse than a simple school rule. Yeah, let’s call it a ban, they say to themselves as they pound away at their keyboard. Let’s make the schools look dumb. This way we can cause some hock, and then the anti-frum sites will pick up our story and say how foolish those Orthodox Jews are. And we’ll get lots of comments. Those are always good. Who cares about the mosdos anyway.
And then, of course, the topic is open for discussion so that people can mock and question a policy made by schools. One person asked, “Is this really such an issue?” Another wrote, “Now thats (sic) a huge issue. Ban ban ban.” Another: “cmon let these kids live! I personally think this is way better than the orbeez craze.” Another: “Was this ban approved by the mayor of NY city Mayor Michael Ban-berg?” And finally: “Who cares let these kids do what they want, its (sic) not like their sitting and playing video games. seriously people have to worry about important things NOT rubberbands…get a grip.”
There you go. You have it all. People who think they know better than the schools – and are allowed to say whatever they want online. They mock, they laugh, they say what they want, and it gets posted. No accountability. Nothing. Bash the schools. Bash the “ban.” Bash everyone and get away with it.
I wonder if the reporter of this story and these brilliant commenters send their children to school altogether. Maybe one of their children are in my class. Who knows. But they should know that by being motzie laaz on a school publicly, they are doing more damage to the chinuch of their children than they can imagine.
But they get away with defaming schools and everyone just sits on their hands. Disgraceful.
We, educators, are just trying to be mechanech your children with love, care, sensitivity and tact. Each and every day, we give our hearts and souls to instill in our students positive feelings about Yiddishkeit and about life. We try our best. It is a difficult job, but we embrace the challenge. Please, we beg you, don’t make it harder.
I sign on behalf of all my fellow mechanchim – rabbeim, menahalim, teachers, principals, and administrators – who are appalled.