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Earlier this year, Oros Bais Yaakov, a girls high school in Lakewood, notified their parents that students may face expulsion from the school if they obtain a drivers license before graduation.

Despite this strong warning, a number of students have obtained a drivers license.

In response, School Administrator Rabbi Efraim Birnbaum has now sent letters to the parents telling them that while he has the right to expel the students, he won't. However, they can't graduate, receive a diploma, nor obtain a transcript for the remainder of the year. They have also lost the privilege of joining their class for the graduation trip.

The letter adds that the harsh measure is to push back against parents "running their own show."

The letter also exhaults parents to focus on the consequences on one's actions rather than on venting against the school.

The full letter states:

Dear parents,

Attached please find a copy of the letter you signed at the beginning of the year delineating the consequences of your daughter getting her drivers license before graduation.

While we still believe the punishment is warranted, circumstances may not allow us to to expel your daughter at this time, we therefore have to suffice with saying that your daughter lost her privelege to graduate Oros Bais Yaakov.

Please understand that this means she can not join her grade on graduation trip, will not have a transcript reflecting the last term, and will not receive a diploma reflecting a completion of education at Oros.

Our policy not to allow students to drive has many reasons and implications, and unfortunately, allowing this to join the ranks of all other expectations that went the way of "כי בשרירות לבי אלך" is not an option.

I hope you use this as an opportunity to reinforce the מושגים of behaviors and consequences rather than waste the opportunity by venting at those that were forced into this uncomfortable position.

I'm sorry your daughter's high school experience had to end on this note but ignoring the situation will reinforce for all future students' complete disregard for safety, authority, and the responsibility to your friends and school.

I have complete confidence in your seeing much נחת from your daughter despite this bump.


Ephraim Birnbaum

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Anonymous said...

This punishment is to severe. He is unfortunately working with his emotions and not with his logic which a mechanich must be conscious of this at all times. There are too many punishments here. I'd probably just opt to punish with the loss of graduation trip and that's it. The parents obviously had a good reason for letting their daughter get their license.

Anonymous said...

It’s simple. If you choose to attend a school with specific rules, which you agreed to abide by as a condition of acceptance, you cannot cry later when you break those rules and get penalized.

If you don’t like some of the rules, then you can choose to get schooled elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

Imagine being so uptight

anonymous said...

And he's 100%right!

Anonymous said...

Is this for real?!

Anonymous said...

Wow. I can understand not letting the young lady walk for graduation or go on her class trip. However, denying her transcripts and her high school diploma...I have no words. Is that even legal? I think her parents should contact a lawyer.

Heimish said...

And I'm happy I didn't send my daughter to his scholl!

Anonymous said...

They may sue and win but there wont be a single A on the transcripts.
However they get sit for the regents test (In NY State) GED or sometghing like that and get their own diploma - not good for seminary but great for treifineh college (Afra Lepumay).

But the truth be said - as was mentioned already - if you agree to the rules you must abide by them. The school agreed to teach you 'sheifeleh' provided you follow the rules. You did not do your part hence the School is not obligated to do their part.

Anonymous said...

I think he's 100% correct. Sadly parents think they can do whatever they want, either because they donate sizable donations or they don't like to follow rules (you know who you are).

To the one that's asking if it's legal; if they're officially expelled right now, then yes, it's legal. Just because they physically aren't thrown out, doesn't negate that point.

Heimish said...

Unfortunately this school and other schools have been rapidly changing rules each year. For example Bais Kaila started a new rule this year not allowing sneakers when a girl is there for a year or two or three, she ain't going elsewhere just because the school decided to shove a new rule down their throat.

Anonymous said...

While I can say I feel bad for the situation, as a parent of children in school, I understand the position schools are placed in. If a rule is made and the rules are broken, how can the continue to teach. The school doesn't owe the parents anything.
The parents and girls new good and well they can't get a license. Why did they chose to get one? I doubt if a child got a license because CV a parent had cancer, would a school care as much. But that would go with permission.

Same with phones in schools.

If you want to make your own rules, go to a school that doesn't have rules.. but you won't find one.

Anonymous said...

The contract signed said: "any girl who gets her permit before Chanukah and her license before graduation will not receive a Oros Bais Yaakov diploma or 2nd semester transcript, which may cause seminary difficulty. Additionally depending on the level of violation, additional consequences may also be levied"
I don’t think you can sue if you signed that.

Anonymous said...

If I was a parent and they came down like this, I would cancel and pull my tuition for the balance of the year. If all the parents that have kids that are being punished so harshly do this, as you know money talks.

Anonymous said...

I deal with lots and I mean lots of kids the are on the way or already off the Dereck. This is one of the reasons, you make up crazy rules and push the kids further away from Judaism. Further away from The Torah. This principles done act accordingly to Halacha
The are tons on kids who are pushed of the Dereck. Which would you like to have a kid that becomes OTD or a kid who keeps mitzvahs. Pushing and forcing kids is problem of the OTD problem. If you’re banning drivers licenses why not phones. Do you know how many girls are constantly on their cell phones non stop. What can they be talking about that is so important. I run a business and I am not on my phone as much. So which is worst

Anonymous said...

He may be 100%right
But punishment is way overboard to deny a girl her diploma and ruining her future is off the rails
It’s his school and he can do what he wants but I’m sure “daas Torah” wasn’t consulted
Had he discussed it with anyone with a bit of seichel I’m sure it would have had a different outcome

Anonymous said...

to anon 10:16,
please stop working with "off the dereck" kids immediately. you and people like you are clearly a big part of the problem and are creating many more of these kids.

Anonymous said...

Heimish said...
And I'm happy I didn't send my daughter to his scholl!

May 9, 2024 at 4:13 PM

And you can be very sure that they're also glad that they didn't accept your daughter. No one needs a student who refuses to abide by the rules and the smart-aleck parents are the reason for the recalcitrant students.

This has nothing to do with girls going OTD either. This is a simple rule which you may or may not agree with. There are plenty of schools that don't have this rule and you're free to apply to them. Don't attend this one and make up your own rules. That's a far greater recipe for your own kids going OTD.

Anonymous said...

I'd love to see even a smidgen of proof that this rule leads kids to go OTD. Just something more than your own insignificant opinion please.

If you work with kids who are going OTD, my guess you're only an accelerant because they don't tolerate foolishness well and if you represent the "mainstream", they're likely to run like hell to get away from such stupidity.

Go get a job that befits your IQ please and stop working with precious yiddishe neshamos.

Anonymous said...

My girls asked for things all the time and we say it’s against school rules sorry. There are and it’s not causing my girls to go off the deep end. Following rules is part of life. Don’t break a law and then complain to the judge your punishment is too hard. The students will still receive their transcript It just won’t reflect the last quarter.

Anonymous said...

From what I heardv,this school had no choice . Last year they gave milder punishments for the same thing and it seems like parents and girls did not get the message . So they had no choice but to finally put their foot down .

Anonymous said...

It's really simple - you apply to, and attend a school that has rules and you flagrantly break said rules. You don't get to decide how they should respond. No very difficult. Anyone who has an opinion on this subject is welcome to open their own school and run it as they see fit.

Anonymous said...

"ignoring the situation will reinforce for all future students' complete disregard for safety, authority, and the responsibility to your friends and school."

I'm sure that tremendous lack of safety etc has happened or is about to or going to happen. How about a no driving to or from school rule? Having a license in your pocket is a disregarding safety? Really? Personal cell phones are allowed?That's fine?.