This piece first appeared in The Times of Israel.
These days, educational authorities across America are encouraging kids to bike to school, whether to promote health or environmentalism. But not so the Hasidim who run the United Talmudical Academy “Torah V’Yirah” schools in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. They are forbidding children from any free wheeling activity.
The New York Post reports that the United Talmudical Academy sent a letter to parents saying that any student caught riding their bike to school would be expelled. Parents were told that they should consider this “a final warning.”
It seems the transgression is not only riding a bike that a student actually owns, but also riding one that he doesn’t. “Even borrowed bicycles” areverboten, as well. Vos Iz Neias, the Haredi news website posted a photo of the Yiddish-language form letter sent to parents whose sons were guilty of the infraction. The school had no comment on its abhorrence for pedal power.
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© 2012 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.