I don’t know if this school was in Monsey or Lakewood or what, but I will say, it has always seemed to me that the Monsey bais Yaakovs try to out-narish the Brooklyn bais Yaakovs to prove they’re just as good. If I ever hear a truly horrifying bais Yaakov story, my first guess is that it happened outside of Brooklyn. This story from Kaylie isn’t in the “truly horrifying” category, but it does show what motivates some of these teachers…
At the end of 11th grade we had to choose our extracurricular jobs. Yearbook editor was the only job that wouldn’t require me to get up and perform a song in front of the school, so that’s what I chose. I happen to like writing and editing, so that worked out well.
There was a lot of tension between the yearbook staff and the principals. They told us to rewrite the bios several times and threw out the drafts we had spent hours on after reading only three.
But the real tension came when we had to get our features approved. As an editor, I had to predict what my principals would censor and try to word things in a way that would seem “kosher,” but would still allow my class to understand the meaning of the jokes.
Our class had a mass text system and a lot of jokes originated from that. One of our features consisted of the highlights, our most memorable mass texts. My principal had moved that to the reject pile and it was my job to find out why.
I went to her and asked what the problem was. She said she didn’t want such blatant mentions of “technology” in our yearbook. I asked what the big deal was and she said, “The Brooklyn Bais Yaakovs wouldn’t have such a feature in their yearbook.”
We weren’t a Brooklyn Bais Yaakov. Not even close. But I knew it wasn’t worth the argument, so we scrapped that feature.
Story submitted by Kaylie.