Wednesday, November 16, 2011
You'll Throw Them a Pumpkin Pie?
Simply unbelievable (see full article at Asbury Park Press).
While in the past, private schools waived their right to busing on Thanksgiving, this year that is not the case. From the comments everywhere (and a TLS poll), the majority believe bus drivers should have the day off, although there are plenty of comments from bnei rachamin that are anything but such as they should just be happy to have a job, etc, etc. There is something to be said for reasonable accommodation. It increases morale and creates an environment of mutual respect, something I'd certainly want when I'm placing my child under someone else's care. Additionally, if you stand for families spending time together, this is the day! This is penny-wise and pound foolish ans as many comments point out, if everyone were to act on strict law, bus drivers could refuse to make many accommodations that they make out of kindness. Additionally, local employers might act accordingly and not make accommodations they make for Jewish employees.
But Lakewood Vaad spokesman went on record saying the law is the law and "In the Jewish school system, every day is precious for education. [Thanksgiving is] a wonderful holiday, but there are still (18,000) kids who need to get home." Furthermore he states that with the growth and population of schools, carpooling is not a safe option. Disingenuous? I think so. Unless Lakewood calendars are significantly different than those of the rest of the Orthodox world, I dare say that in addition to yom tov, there plenty of days off. . . . just not Thanksgiving, mind you. And, do Lakewood parents not drive on Sunday?
Next time, Weisberg states, there should be a financial incentive (something I'm certain taxpayers won't be happy about). But this time, the attorney for the township's Board of Education says he will personally buy pumpkin pie or dessert for all drivers at his expense. Do those who speak hear their own voices? I'm sure the bus drivers can buy their own Mrs. Smith's pumpkin pie! What a chutzpah. It comes off as arrogant and insulting, adding insult to injury.
As per this article, it looks like we will see a repeat on Christmas and that the Igud HaMosdos is the body with the power to release the drivers from their duties as NJ law requires busing according to the calendars set by the schools.
Just in, as I go to publish, some schools are declining their right for busing. Hopefully more will follow. I'd suggestnot waiting too long. People need to make their plans.