Eretz Yisrael Time

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Sunday, August 31, 2008
I was invited, as a blogger, to cover a Netanyahu press conference today, where he will be announcing some sort of revolutionary Education program. I’m more of a Feiglin/Marzel man myself, but I was honored to have been invited. Unfortunately, I can’t go.

But I do have some advice for Netanyahu for improving the education system in Israel.

We were in the park yesterday when one child, perhaps 6 or 7, was wildly swinging one of the toys in the park in a way that was extremely dangerous to anyone else playing or walking nearby.

My wife went over and nicely asked him to stop, explaining that what he was doing was very dangerous to the other children, especially the smaller children.

Instead of stopping, this little kid had the Chutzpah to say (and say it in a way that was extremely Chutzpadik) that the small kids shouldn’t play there, and he will keep doing swinging the toy however he likes. She should go to another other area.

Personally I was shocked. I couldn’t imagine a kid his age talking back to an adult like that. He should have been terrified when an adult came over to him and told him to stop.

My wife, as an Israeli, was used to it, and didn’t let up until the child stopped his very dangerous activity.

I don’t know if he learned that behavior in school, at home, on the street or on TV (I’ll be discussing TV in another post soon), but it is certainly behavior that needs to be corrected.

School starts tomorrow. Every year, teachers report on the increase in insolence they see from students in school. What I saw yesterday was a very bad example as to how young it’s starting.

If Netanyahu wants to fix the education system, one of the first things he needs to fix is the attitude and behavior of the students. A child who isn’t respectful of his elders is not going to learn, and is going to be disruptive to the rest of the class. Where that needs to be taught, I don’t know, but I hope it is something he mentions today in his press conference.


Leora said...

This is a good post on a difficult topic. We've got Chutzpahdik kids in America, too. Hard to stick this one on the politicians. Most likely a parental responsibility. Teachers might be able to help, but they have a hard time. I've had teachers complain to me about kids who get whatever they want, they never hear "no". This is from a teacher who has been teaching twenty years; she says it has gotten much worse recently.

Anonymous said...

Personally I was shocked. I couldn’t imagine a kid his age talking back to an adult like that.
I come across them almost every day, unfortunately!
It is difficult to address this issue from a political point of view though. I have found that some parents disagree with school rules as soon as these rules concern their own kids.
In France a lot of politicians find it difficult to stress parental responsibility; after all parents are voters. They seem to fear that saying we need to have clear rules and stick to them will turn voters away.

Esser Agaroth said...


For better of worse, IMHO and if you don't mind my saying so, I think your wife handled it in the best way possible under the circumstances. She probably sensed that was the way to go.

I would be interested to know if the parents were around.

A big pet peeve of mine is when people don't take responsibility, whether its for their children of animals or inanimate objects.

A Living Nadneyda said...

That's a tough one.

I commented over on Here in HP.

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