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  • Writer's pictureDaniela Weiss-Bronstein

SAR models accountability

Terrible news came out today. SAR's parent body received an email from the principal detailing the investigation and arrest of their MS associate principal of Judaic Studies. He had been employed at SAR for 14 months and from what I've read was at a different yeshiva in NY before that.

There are no words for the pain of the victims or the community at large. The ripple effect of distrust could hamper these children forever. And we've seen too many times in our communities and in other religious organizations the tendency to cover it up, whisper about it, silence the voices crying out in pain. But SAR took the derech of true educators, people who understand that the stability of the children must come before all.

The school is coordinating with the FBI to encourage victims and potential victims to come forward. They've provided resources to help parents address what's happening with their children. They're holding an open meeting for parents and providing access to guidance counselors and the administration. Additionally they are planning to address each grade in an age-apporpriate way, including reinforcing the education they've received on how to handle interactions with predators. SAR is also making counseling services available and has a hotline open for tonight.

This response should be included in a manual to every school and organization as a template for how to handle the devastation that comes with exposure to a sexual predator. A focus on transparency, working with law enforcement, and ensuring that the children will continue to feel safe is exactly how a school should respond. As Asher Lovy noted, we're never going to be able to completely rid the word of people who prey on children, but we can fix how we respond as a community.

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