Tuesday, May 12, 2009

What Would A Yeshiva Do?

This morning on the news there was a story about a kid in Ohio who took his girlfriend to her school’s prom. It seems this violated the Christian school’s policy, which prohibits dances, and the student was suspended and will miss his graduation.

I couldn’t help thinking about what a yeshiva would do in the same situation. It’s a given, of course, that a yeshiva bochur shouldn’t have a girlfriend. But suppose he did, let’s say a girl from a modern school, and he went with her to a school function. Chances are he would be expelled.

The boy from Ohio and his family plan to sue the school. His stepfather says that he agrees that while students are in school they should adhere to the rules, but that the schools do not have the authority to extend those rules outside of school hours.

I remember after graduating high-school going to the video store to rent movies for my brothers. They would have gotten in trouble if they were caught renting movies. Yeshivas also hold they hava the authority (perhaps the duty?) to dictate what students can and can’t do no matter where they are, as long as they are enrolled in the school.

If the family wins the lawsuit, I wonder what it will mean for the yeshiva world. Not that I expect any earth-shattering changes, but it will set an important legal precedent regarding the limits of a school’s authority.
You can see the story here.


  1. >I couldn’t help thinking about what a yeshiva would do in the same situation.

    In RJJ in 1958 or 59 a large faction of the graduating class held an illicit prom. What did they do? The menahel, R. ? Kagan (nephew of the Chafetz Chaim) came in to the class afterwards and wept.

  2. In our country there is a legal precedent about an unmarried teacher getting pregnant. The catholic school she worked for wanted to fire her, she sued and won.

    But this did not change anything to the jewish school system here. If they know it's illegal, they'll just find an excuse and fire her all the same... I suppose the same goes for students: if they find out that they cannot kick them out, they'll just find an excuse to do it all the same...