As a parent with children at Yeshivat Noam, I found Hella Winston’s coverage of the arrest of a Yeshivat Noam teacher very upsetting (“After Arrest Of Teacher, Questions About Vetting,” May 11).
Yeshivat Noam has been a leader in addressing the issue of child safety. I attended a presentation for parents last year at the school by Project SARAH on the Aleinu Safety Kid Program. My children heard presentations on this program during school. Winston’s article, however, mentions none of this, and instead infers by pure speculation what the school may or may not have done to check into this teacher’s background. Moreover, she implies that simple Internet searches would easily have found that this teacher was engaged in inappropriate behavior. Only by scouring the Internet using his AOL screen name did she come up with the material she found. Moreover, it is shocking that she found it necessary to describe what she found in such salacious detail such that there is now a valid concern that children of the school may duplicate her efforts and be exposed to it.
The response of Yeshivat Noam to its parents and students since the disclosure of the arrest has been nothing short of transparent, timely and professional. The problem of child safety is something none of us should take lightly. But to wrongly and sensationally use this case as emblematic of the broader problem shows a level of ignorance about the particular situation, and signals something troubling about Winston’s agenda.