Q: My little third-grader sits next to a girl whose family’s values do not suit ours. From a reliable source, I’ve heard about incidents that can be spiritually damaging to our daughter. Since this proximity leads to a friendship out of school as well, I want to request that they be separated. I am concerned that the teacher will not accede to my request without hearing the details. What am I permitted to say in this situation?
A: The mother is correct in relating to this problem in a serious manner. She should tell the teacher: “Our families differ on Yiddishkeit issues, and I ask that the girls be separated.”
Details should not be brought up, since as soon as the details of the family will be aired in the open, the participants will almost certainly stumble over unnecessary talk and transgressions.
In a case where the teacher is not easily convinced, the mother should contact a Rav or other competent authority with the details of the situation. (Under normal circumstances there is no reason to include the name of the family involved. If the need does arise, the Rav will listen, l’to’eles.) The mother can then request, in the name of the Rav, that the girls be separated.
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