I unfortunately know students like that. They are from fine religious homes with good parents and exemplary siblings. Yet they have gone OTD. And if you examine their scholastic history – you will find that they did not do well in school. They thus were ignored. And ended up hating the school… and the religiosity it represents to them. That is criminal.
Rabbi Aisenstark tells us that at a wedding not long ago, he saw an 18 year old pour himself an 8 ounce glass of alcohol and drink it as if it were water. And after a coke chaser, he filled up his 8 ounce glass with alcohol again.
This doesn’t man that every student that doesn’t succeed in school will become an alcoholic. But the image should be a wakeup call for that a kind of potential. Or worse.
What to do? In the short term he suggests that the parent body of any religious school system such as Torah U’Mesorah offer courses in how to teach to everyone. In the long term he says that the entire structure of Chinuch ought to be restructured. He suggest a think tank of senior Mechanchim sit down for whatever time it takes (day; weeks; years…) to come up with ideas for change. Because the alternative – as is becoming evident – is dire.
Visit Emes Ve-Emunah . / Harry Maryles