Q: My seven-year-old comes home from cheder lately complaining bitterly about his English teacher. We’ve never met the teacher and obviously have no clue as to how he would react if we were to approach him with our son’s complaints. On the other hand, the principal of the English department is a good friend of my husband’s, and we’d thus prefer broaching the topic with him. Is it permissible to discuss this with the principal or is it considered lashon hara? Is it preferable to speak directly to the teacher?
A: The teacher should be approached directly. Obviously, special care should be taken as to how the complaint is worded, respect and restraint being the name of the game. Parents should begin by inquiring about their son’s progress and his work in general, and then ask if there are any specific problems. They can casually, gently broach the issue, taking extra precautions not to run into rechilus. (An example of rechilus would be, “My son has mentioned that you …”)
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