Monday, December 17, 2007

Interesting Priorities

I find it very interesting that the people at Torah Temimah were so worried about Rabbi Kolko's parnassah (livelihood) that they refused to fire him even after it was well known to the administration what he was doing to children. And yet, Vien Yeshiva summarily dismisses a teacher simply for putting videos of the class at recess on the YouTube, with nary a thought for his parnassah.

Kind of makes you wonder which is the worse offense...

The Wolf

(N.B. I'm not condoning what the teacher did... I think parents can have legitimate privacy concerns when it comes to videos of their kids on the Internet and I think that some disciplinary action is in order. But I find it interesting that the teacher who directly harms kids is kept on the payroll and in contact with kids for years, whereas the one who causes only a remote possibility of harm gets the axe immediately.)


Anonymous said...

1) The teacher in the video case admits guilt.

2) Secular jobs are a dime a dozen and firing the teacher will not severely impact his livelihood.

3) Maybe they are afraid of what the bloggers would say if they didn't fire him!

Anonymous said...

Very simple: verification.

Jeff Eyges said...

Obviously, you're right; it's grossly unfair. However, there is an important difference, from a PR perspective. What the Rabbi was doing wasn't readily observable by the public. It was also easier for them to remain in denial about it, and it was something about which they would want to remain in denial. The video, on the other hand, was out there for all to see.

As a parent, you know that schools have all sorts of precautionary measures in place today. Once, I was visiting a park with a group of lamas - Tibetan Buddhist teachers. One of them had a video camera, and was taping everything, including some schoolchildren in a playground. One of the teachers came up to me and wanted to know why he was taping the children. She insisted that he stop, and told me that they had strict rules about allowing that sort of thing without the parents' consent. I think she was also concerned about these strange guys in maroon robes hanging around the kids. Needless to say, I tried to reassure her that these were the last guys in the world she needed to worry about - they were students of the Dalai Lama, completely well-meaning, etc. They were just interested in everything that was going on around them. And, of course, the monk stopped taping immediately. But, the bottom line was - the fear was there.

I imagine the school you're talking about fired the teacher to fend off any potential legal action on the part of the parents.

SuperRaizy said...

Any decent teacher knows that the students' safety must always be the teacher's #1 concern. Posting pictures of your young students on the Internet shows a serious lack of judgement, and the school was right to dismiss him.
(Kolko, on the other hand, should have been strung up by his... well, you get the idea.)

Anonymous said...

Publishing images of a child without parental permission is not only imprudent, it's wrong. Kolko should have been locked in a men's prison shower with his wrists handcuffed to his ankles.

Zev Stern said...

The spelling in the source article is a bigger scandal.
I suppose that after the Kolko and Mondrowitz affairs people are super-careful, and that's a good thing. But I don't think posting innocent pix on YouTube should be a firing offense unless the teacher was warned beforehand. Is the yeshiva embarrassed because kids are playing instead of learning "Toyrah?" Kids need to play, and so do adults (do you hear me, fat principal?).

BrooklynWolf said...


I don't think the issue here is that the children were playing. I think the issue is that the video was put up on the Internet to begin with... even had it been children learning.

As a parent, I can understand that there *is* a valid security concern here. I do think that disciplinary action is warranted (although I think that an outright dismissal might have been too harsh).

The Wolf