My Son’s Kindergarten Teacher Assassinated by WhatsApp

My Son’s Kindergarten Teacher Assassinated by WhatsApp

2 weeks ago an upset mother complained in the WhatsApp group of my son’s kindergarten that the afternoon ganenet, whom I will call Sima,* had yelled at her son and pulled him by the ear. This upset boy told his mother that the ganenet was a “Rashait,” an evil woman.
This prompted over 400 posts to the WhatsApp group. Some mothers posted how their sons had told them there were troublemakers in the afternoon program who picked on them and hurt them. Others wrote about the generally rowdy atmosphere in the afternoon program and encouraged all the mothers to speak with the boys regarding their behavior. And then there were more posts complaining about Ganenet Sima.
When I did some fact-checking with my son, Yoni, he told me he liked Ganenet Sima. “She’s good. She yells sometimes because the boys don’t listen when she says things quietly. She pulled that boy’s ear closer because it was noisy and she wanted him to hear her.”
In any case, I’m not writing this because I know who is right and who is wrong. Maybe Yoni didn’t understand what was happening and Ganenet Sima did things that were inappropriate. I wasn’t there, and my son wasn’t affected, so I don’t know.
Our kids are so vulnerable, I sympathize with those mothers whose children come home crying, and the mothers lash out at the children’s teachers using the easiest available weapon, the class WhatsApp group (which, in this case, was especially dangerous since the ganenet in question wasn’t part of the group). I truly don’t know who is right and who is wrong in this story.
But what I do know is that Ganenet Sima, a dedicated ganenet for over 30 years, has been fired from her job as a result of these WhatsApp posts and the calls they prompted to her supervisor.
I brought Ganenet Sima a present and a card at her home before Shabbat in order to thank her personally for all her hard work over the year and how much she had invested in our kids. She looked profoundly wounded, devastated, destroyed.
Could this have happened before Whatsapp existed? Yes, in theory. But now that there is WhatsApp, it has become SO easy. As easy as typing this sentence. To destroy a person’s career. A person’s reputation. A person.

8 comments

  1. Rachel E Espinoza

    That is heartbreaking.

  2. Speechless. Really sad.

  3. Mina Esther Gordon

    Social media is not a fair judge. The school should have a protocol in place for parents’ complaints and a plan of action for dealing with it.
    The Torah tells us to pursue truth and justice.

  4. GASP…. after 30 years…! Mina is right.

  5. This is really devastating. Are you able to provide any information on how this played out? It’s extremely concerning to hear that the school fired her due to these complaints. I hope that there was a thorough investigation before the school made their decision..

  6. Sorah Berger

    This is so so terrible. Is there any way that someone could speak to the school to make sure that there were no misunderstandings? If she worked there for 30 years and there were really issues I’m sure it would have been known somehow before

  7. Hmmm this is interesting. I wonder why there is so much outrage here that she was fired. There is so much unknown. At my sons school there was an older teacher who had been there for many years. She would say things to the children that was not acceptable but the school never fired her because they felt bad for her- this was her income and her life. Well at the end of one year there was a class performance to which the mommies were invited. She spoke to a child in front of all the mommies in a way that was truly unacceptable. Mommies were horrified, complained and teacher was finally let go. Yes, She was probably destroyed, but how many children were destroyed all those years through the way she would talk to them? Children at this age can not advocate for themselves. Every child and every adult deserves their dignity, perhaps the fault lies in the school for not respectfully letting your child’s teacher go earlier if she should not have been a teacher. The children need not be the sacrifice.

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