Exposing the Teacher who Molested Me by Anonymous (Chanukah Semifinalist #7)

Exposing the Teacher who Molested Me by Anonymous (Chanukah Semifinalist #7)

When I was in elementary school I unfortunately experienced a trauma that I felt must be kept a secret.

So I told nobody.

I thought that was the right thing to do. Either that, or I was just scared to tell.

When I was forced to tell, after seeing a psychologist a few years later, the decision was made to keep it under wraps. People in the community had heard that he’d “done teshuva,” and was teaching at a school in a different state.

The psychologist was forced to report his name to the state we lived in, but because we had decided not to press charges, no further action was taken.

About 15 years later, I attended an evening sponsored by “Magen,” an organization in Bet Shemesh that, among other aims, raises awareness about sexual abuse in the frum community. That night we had heard lectures from Rabbi Yaakov Haber, Dr. David Pelcowitz, and Rabbi Yaakov Horowitz.

Rabbi Horowitz specifically drove home his point by using a metaphor: if a man in a community shul was going around cutting children’s pinkies off, would we brush it under the carpet and not deal with the issue right away?! So too, he explained, we must report sexual abuse immediately in order to protect other children! That night made a huge impact on my thinking and I made a decision to act right away.

The pressure was on, and the next night I Googled my former teacher’s name, and found out where he was currently teaching. As silly as it sounds in retrospect, there really was an inner conflict in my mind whether to go through with this. Meaning, on one hand, this man has a wife and children. Maybe he wasn’t abusing more children? How could I get him fired- he needs to make a living?!

But, on the other hand, he really did sexually abuse a child! And who knows how many more?! My husband and I also discussed the fact that if I did go through with this and report him, maybe I would have to testify in court! I was really scared!

After serious discussions with my husband and our Rav, my husband took the first step and called the principal of the school where this man was teaching. Of course, the principal wanted to speak with me and that led me to disclose my story to him, and then to his lawyer, and finally, re-involving my former psychologist.

Fortunately, about a week later, the principal called me to report that the teacher had been fired, and assured me that the man would never find another teaching job again.

I had never felt so empowered in my life. I knew 100% that I had done the right thing. My decision had protected others. I truly felt like a hero.

*In continuation with this story, I have been in touch with the new organization “Jewish Community Watch” in regards to publicizing his identity.

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2 comments

  1. wow, kol hakavod to you, i cant imagine how hard that must have been for you to carry the weight of your pain for so long, and to stand up against your aggressor. thank you for sharing your story, and may Hashem always give you strength and protection!

  2. You are a hero! It takes a lot of courage to do what you did. You helped to save many neshamot. May HaShem bless you always.

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