| Words Unspoken |

Dear Klal Yisrael

“Mommy, I love public school, but why do I feel better and more accepted in a school like this?”


Dear Klal Yisrael,

I just graduated from 12th grade in Tiferes Miriam High School in Brooklyn. I live over an hour away, but ever since seventh grade, I’ve traveled back and forth to Brooklyn each day. Every day as I left home, I’d say to myself, Why? Why do I have to travel so far to get to school?

I’m a triplet. We were all born preemies, which can lead to educational delays, anxiety, and other invisible disabilities that the average person can’t understand.

Most of us with invisible disabilities started off in the regular Bais Yaakovs and chadarim and yeshivos, but the regular educational system isn’t equipped to handle us, and we can get overwhelmed by all the noise and the number of students around us. So we were placed into the hands of tutors, which then made school even worse. We were bullied because we were never in class, and we were “too slow” for our peers. Each of us with invisible disabilities has gone through some sort of bullying, some worse than others.

I myself had to battle through this until I was in fifth grade, when I was placed in a school that had smaller classes within the school. Yet this, too, still wasn’t the right fit, as I also had to be a part of the “regular” classes sometimes, which I couldn’t handle because of the huge number of girls in the class (yes, 25 can be a lot, sometimes). I also couldn’t handle the change between the “regular” class and the smaller class. It just wasn’t the right fit for me.

I ended up finding the right school in Brooklyn, a small school (in my graduating class there were eight girls) geared to girls who can’t handle being in a “regular” school environment, but don’t want to be considered special needs or delayed. After years of not feeling supported, I finally found the help I needed.

But there are others, such as one of my siblings, currently in the bilingual Yiddish class in a public school, because that’s where she feels acknowledged and cared for. It hurts to hear her say, “Mommy, I love public school, but why do I feel better and more accepted in a school like this? Why can’t there be anywhere frum where I feel accepted?”

Klal Yisrael, come on, why did I and a lot of others have to go all the way to Brooklyn each day? Why couldn’t I stay in my own city? Why did I have to feel that my hometown didn’t want me? Why does my sister come home each day with a huge smile on her face after a day of public school? Why are there members of Klal Yisrael sitting at home not knowing what they’ll be doing this coming school year?

Brothers and sisters, I’m not the only one who has gone through or is going through something like this. There are a lot of other individuals who have been or are currently facing this challenge; some have traveled along with me each day to school. I am begging someone, any member of Klal Yisrael, to please step forward and try to make a difference. I am supporting you and so are a lot of others just like me!


Someone Ready for Change


(Originally featured in Family First, Issue 810)

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