A haredi education "expert" explains why so many haredi kids talk to strangers when they should not, and why this alarming security gap is not the fault of their teachers or school principals – even though it really is.
Rabbi Binyomin Ginsberg writes that he parked his car in Borough Park and Crown Heights, and motioned for haredi kids to come talk to him. They did. All of them. Without fail. Over and over and over again.
And they didn't just talk.
They gave out home addresses, parents' names, employers and work schedules, and lots of other alarming information that could easily lead those kids into a very dangerous, bad situation.
Ginsberg wants parents to know that despite this horrific performance, they shouldn't blame the yeshivas and seminaries they pay so dearly to educate their children:
…When it comes to parts the Torah like the exact details of the teivah, or the names of every river that ran out of Gan Eden, I am not so worried about every child knowing this information cold. I am, however, very concerned about those lessons that are essential for every single child to know, understand, and live, both in and out of school.
Your child is your responsibility, not that of the teachers or principals for whom you pay tuition. Yes, you relinquish part of your responsibility to teach your children Torah, yet it is ultimately your job to make sure that your children are genuinely learning those lessons which are too vital to their lives to be missed. The teachers and school as a whole are too pressured and therefore obsessed with covering material to pay too much attention to life lessons, which places the responsibility squarely in your lap.…
A significant part of public school education is education about public health issues, including sexual abuse.
Haredi schools aren't skipping these things because there is too much pressure to cover Humash with Rashi.
Haredi schools skip these public health issues because the little men with the big hats called rabbis and rebbes won't allow the schools to use words like "sex," reproduction," "rape," "penis," and "vagina," and they won't allow the school to teach the students to call police if they are sexually assaulted.
Ginsberg knows this, of course, but telling the truth is inconvenient so Ginsberg does something that is accepted in the haredi world – he lies.
Ginsberg wrote a lesson plan for parents to reach their children not to talk to strangers. The plan is, in the words of one educator who saw it a few moments ago, "asinine."
I include it as a PDF download below with the caveat that anyone crazy enough to follow it is risking their child's life.
One of the most dangerous lines in the lesson plan is when Ginsberg says to teach your child to "find the closest phone booth and either call home or 911 ([teach] them how to use a public phone)…" if a stranger threatens them.
Phone booths are almost nonexistent today. Children should really have their own child-safe cellphones, but many haredi rabbis came out against that earlier this year, and Ginsberg therefore cannot recommend it. So instead he recommends something that could easily get your child killed as he searches all over Brooklyn for a pay phone.
If you want to keep your children safe, keep them away from people who lie to protect their rabbis.
Ginsberg's lesson plan: