Readers’ Scoop: My Son’s Learning About Sports, Thanks To His Bus Driver

My title was sarcastic. I was sitting with my young son this past Friday, when he starts telling me about the Yankees, Red Sox and other teams and who’s playing who etc.

Being that our family was never into sports, I was quite shocked to hear him start talking to me about sports. What was more shocking though, was the fact that when I asked him where he was learning all about these things, he answered, ‘my bus driver’.

Don’t get me wrong, I play sports with my children on their days off, as it’s great exercise and great for a healthy mind. But is this what I send my son on the school bus for?

Attention bus drivers. Your job is to transport my child to and from school – not to educate him on subjects which many choose not to expose their children to. Please leave that to the teacher’s discretion.

And one more point. There is foul language one of my children recently used, which he says he heard the bus driver use.  

Please take this into consideration when transporting young Jewish children.

 Thank you.

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  1. A naieve parent, this hobby maybe just what will save his life and not reject all Yiddishkeit, a healthy outlet is OK. He will grow out of it. If your son is going to turn out to be a Godol in learning, he will do so anyway. Just set a good example as a parent.

  2. I find it interesting that you write an entire article about the calamity of your son learning about sports (allegedly)from his bus driver and you nonchalantly throw in about foul language in the closing of your letter!! I think you should set your priorities straight! What is a bigger concern to you, foul language or knowing who the Red Sox are?

  3. How old is your son, 22 or 23?
    Don’t be so worried, he’s a kid, he’ll grow out of it. When my high school boy was in elementary school, he had a baseball card collection & he knew who exactly had how many RBI’s in which season. Now he’s in mesivta and he’s shteiging away, a real masmid with a cheshek for Torah. Let your kid’s be, don’t keep telling them what they can’t do, they’ll resent you and resent anything jewish.
    Better he should know a couple of baseball zachen then be curious what else is out there.

  4. Take it from someone who is dealing with a son that is turned off to the ” Lakewood ” culture. You have been loaned a Jewell from HaShem. Your job is to nurture and raise him to the best of your ability. Some day he may have to actually have a conversation with a Goy or a Frei Yid. This interaction that he is experiencing may be preparing him for that opportunity. Instead of speaking with disdain for someone different he may actually make a nice impression (Kiddush HaShem) . Maybe even bring back another neshama.

  5. I can’t believe that you have such a problem with him learning about baseball, what an american sport, I could think of a lot of other bad things he could be learning, how about what drugs are out there, how to get them , how they will make him feel, or how about stealing the list can go on, I think sports are the best, go YANKEES

  6. Boys will be always be boys. If he is soundly routed with religious, social, and family values, he will do just fine.

    An interest in baseball, or any sport, helps to expand the mind and is good training for retaining details. The mind has no limit to the information that can be stored and recalled by one who understands how the mind works.

    I too would be concerned about foul language. There is no place for this anywhere, much less on a school bus. This needs to be reported to the School District.

  7. Please please don’t belive the that the bus driver told him …its his friends that educate him and its for the good nothing wrong its a lot better then any other shtus and if he. Enjoys it so be it …take him to a game its better then any amusement park pease we were alll fans a yet I belive most of us turned out quite well
    My boys goto a “yeshivish cheder” and they lerned quite quickly Jeter is ……..

  8. you so worried about someone learning about sports . Thats all kid play when they are having recess all they do is play baseball. baseball is a fun athletic sports which is keeping kids young and healthy.and not fat lazy boys. if you don’t like him talking to the bus driver take him and pick him up but for some school

  9. I specifically ENCOURAGE my boys to follow sports. This culture of banning everything including english subjects, sports and other recreation is killing us! Our children are not growing up in the shtetl. They WILL be into things. 95% of them CAN NOT learn 16 hours a day when they are 15 and 16 years old. GIVE them something for an outlet. Sports is a good one. I don’t think your son will want to grow up and be Jeter. Don’t worry about that. Just be normal. Take that all away from him and I guarantee you that he will be finding other ways to entertain himself.

  10. While I understand your concerns, it’s sad how Bill Hobday, who isn’n Jewish, understands and knows how to deal with our challenges as Jewish parents better than you do.

    As mentioned earlier, to you foul language is a distant second to the Yankees. You must seek advice in order to get a better grip on these situations. It’s never too late.

    Hatzlocho in successfully bringing your children al pi kedusha vitahara.

  11. The Mashgiach Shlit’a tells all that ask him, to drive & pick up their children themselves! His own daughters in town are doing carpool back& forth to school even though they’re elligible for free bussing!

  12. I don”t think that the original poster meant to express hysteria that his son has discovered sports, although it does seem to bother him. I think that his point was that it is up to a parent and educator to decide on what to allow a child to be exposed to. While I see from the definitive tones of the posts that many of you have all of the answers, I would postulate that neither areguments is clear cut. There are those for whom sports are nothing more that a healthy distraction while for others it can be an introduction into a culture that leads one elsewhere. Often that depends on the child, backround and how he was raised. As a side bar, there were gedolim who felt that there are halacha questions involved in rooting for a team, and those were not “radical” or “extremist” gedolim at all. I therefore suggest, as always, please follow your own moreh derech and do not be influenced by nameless posters, myself included!

  13. I do my job and very well I might add, thank you very much. I have NEVER used foul language or anything that you might consider foul language on my bus or within ear shot of a child. I have boys on my bus that play baseball ( and collect cards) at school during recess that ask me if I know who won last nights game, and believe me these kids know all the stats to the favorite players. They ask what teams I like and they tell me their favorites, I don’t educate I answer a question.

  14. Ask rav sheinberg about baseball and he will openly tell u that its aa very healthy outlet regardless of your upbringing.stop doing or not doing what others think is wrong or right. Do what your god given brains tell you.

  15. We all grew up following sports and bh we turned out just fine!

    Relax and chill out let the kids be kids and they will turn out just fine as you and I did

  16. So I guess the bus drivers are not supposed to talk to your children?? I suppose the bus drivers should just drive and not say anything?? I guess its ok for some of your children to not be sitting in their seats and hanging out the windows?? What next? Dont you want your kids to know the drivers? know basics of life…be able to make small talk? HMM I guess not.

  17. When was 12 in a prestigious yeshivah in brooklyn, i had a great baseball card collection. It was a very fun hobby and it kept me busy and out of trouble. That is until my menahel caught me with some, yelled at me in front of my whole class and told me if I did not throw out my entire collection, I would be tossed out of school. So i did throw them out, and then I was bored and had too much spare time, and ended up reading other “things” that no proper jewish boy should. Thank you oh wise menahel for taking me away from the shtusim of baseball cards and driving me to something that was in fact truly evil.

  18. Reb Yaakov Kaminetsky zt”l once said regarding his son Reb Shmuel. Ken zein ich bin a gressere tamid chochom (perhaps I am a greater talmid chochom), uber er iz a gressere rosh yeshiva veil er hot geshpielt ball (but he is a greater rosh yeshiva because he played ball). Meaning a rosh yeshiva needs to speak in the language of the boys & if boys are following baseball (which many are) a rosh yeshiva can deal with them better if he knows what they are talking about. The successful kiruv people know what kids are talking about.

  19. B”H- Unless you move to Eretz Yisroel in Ma’ah Shaarim your children need to know how to0 survive in Golus. B”H your children are learning “goyish” stuff from a goy and not a Yid. B”H you are so lucky and fortunate that your sons bus driver has a nutrual area to talk and communicate. B”H your child will be able to function when he is older- in Glus if Moshiach doesnt come- as a mentch- cognizent of his surroundings. Thank your sons bus driver and tip him well. PS Take your kid to a ball game as well- for the brash complaining that you seem to have no problem comunicating- it will be a taming experience- and bonding- for both of you.

  20. His point was the driver talking to the kids, not the that his son knows who A Rod is.
    Having been a driver for many years, I never spoke 2 words to the kids other then good morning & good evening.

  21. I have spoken to many rabbeim who have said that playing & following sports is the best outlet we can do these days & very healthy.most people who don’t follow sports or play sports are out of shape turn to other things that are me on this topic

  22. How about this – maybe your bus driver is very careful about how he talks to your child because he knows that religious Jews are sensitive to many things in he secular culture.
    But he’s a person, not a mule, and he wants to converse with the children during the long and boring drive, or the children start talking to him. So he picks something that is the most inoffensive thing in the world – professional baseball.
    There is NOTHING controversial about that – it’s America’s pastime! You can’t fault him for seeking to ‘educate’ your child – it’s like discussing the weather.
    If you choose to insulate your son from that, don’t blame the bus driver for not knowing. If you can’t deal with a nisht fininzere bus driver driving your children….. don’t put them on the bus!

  23. HI i think your all not getting the picture! He wants to say that he’s talking to them and telling them about baseball! k he knows it’s not sooo bad but then he says he uses foul language! what he’s trying to say is that soon it could get worse and start talking about way worse things! i know a goy that was talking to a kid i know about death! this 6 year old is being told how your parents could die… and that kid said very innocently ”YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOUR TALKING BOUT, MY MOMMY LOVES ME AND WILL NEVER LEAVE ME!’ and the goy was saying it’s not true… If i wouln’t have stopped that conversation you dont know where it coulve went! thats what he’s trying to say! Any Rejects?

  24. @ #31 but is it ok then on that same token for your 5 and 6 year olds to tell us that when we die, we are coming back as your slaves? I think NOT! We don’t and didn’t teach them that you did.

  25. It never ceases to amaze me how people don’t understand the challenges we are facing in bringing up ehrlicheh children this day in age. A parent must be a role model to his children & show them how great it is to live as a Jew. By making it a burden & trying to shelter him from Sports, you are inviting serious problems down the road. We are not living in a ghetto. We are a part of a society that is unfortunately on a very low level of morality, however we must differentiate, what is actually toxic (I.e. Your bus drivers Cursing, which should’ve been your only complaint!) & what is not (Sports, which can be a ruchniyus life saver down the road). I know many ‘fake black hatters’ today, that would’ve been much better off in their Ruchniyus, had their Fathers not pulled them away from following Sports when they were younger, because its a ‘Goiyesheh zaach’. There are a lot of older people masquerading as Frum Yidden today because they ended up finding really ‘Goiyesheh Zaachen’ to occupy themeselves with!

  26. You live in America were sports are extremely popular and kids love to play little league baseball. Maybe you should start a yid league.

  27. if i had to guess i would say your son is picking it up from his friends and telling you he heard it from his bus driver to cover up what kind of friends he has

  28. The problem I have with the bus driver is he is too closedminded. He thinks the yankees and res sox are the only good teams. We here in detroit have the tigers who just won 10 in a
    row and will win the world series.

  29. The only solution is to move to Eretz Yisrael to get you child away from this dangerous situation. Either that or put him in a glass chamber to avoid life as it exists in America.

  30. a guy i know used to drive the Roshei Yeshiva around, and one day passed by the Yankee Stadium with one of them in the car with him. The RY asked how the Yanks are doing this season and they had a little discussion about it. Then he told the driver that when he was a kid growing up in Lakewood, the day camp used to take the kids to Yankee stadium on day trips!!!
    this is a true story!!
    so you see, following sports is okay, and not only that, as you can see it is a topic which unites people of all backgrounds. So if your son grows up and has to have a polite conversation with a business associate, bank teller and so on, he will have something with which to relate to them.

    as an amusing aside, in my neighborhood on shabbos the kids who cant wait for Motzie shabbos to hear who won – ask the mailman when he comes around. I guess he got tired of repeating himself, cuz one week he hung a sign by his window – Yanks 4-7, Mets, 3-6 …

  31. May favorite thing to hear from kids on the street, is them asking me about the Yankees and Jeter. They tell me they love to play baseball at recess and how they beat their friend’s team on the playground. Sports are a good, healthy outlet for ALL children. And one last thing, I can’t tell you how many times on Shabbos I get waved down for some kids and adults alike, asking me who won the Yankees game or the NJ Devils game. Heck! there have been times I have walked out of the back door at head quarters and people are waiting outside for one of us to come out so they can ask us the game results. Trust me, with so much evil out there, and I see it all the time, it’s a blessing that they are interested in good, healthy things, instead of others. I played several sports growing up at the uging of my parents and I am 100 % sure that the reason my siblings and I are good , upstanding, moral law abiding citizens, is because during our volatile years we didn’t have extra time to get involved with the wrong people. We spent our weekdays going to school, studying and going to practice and the weekends at games and church. Just lighten up a little bit. Would you rather have them out, smoking weed and drinking? And trust me , we have seen many young boys engaging in just that.

  32. If you take your son to shul the oilem there will teach him how to talk during krias hatorah and chazor es hashatz. If you take him to any bais medresh in town the bochurim there can teach him to walk around with a cigarette in his mouth. He can learn inappropriate things from anyone, even from you. Set your son a good example, daven hard and you’ll have nothing to worry about.

  33. #46, I’m in Lakewood for over 30 years,and yes, Lakewood used to do normal things. I don’t remember day camps taking kids to Yankee Stadium, but I believe it. I do remember day camps showing cartoon videos on rainy days. The people who ran the camps were “yeshivish.” The kids who went to those day camps were, and still are, “yeshivish.” People go around looking for things they can find to be wrong and be more and more machmir and they think they are frummer. What a sad situation! (My family is totally not into sports, but when one of my children showed an interest, I surely didn’t stop him, even though I can’t understand the interest in sports at all) THese people who think they are Frum are turning out kids whose frumkeit is Krum.

  34. how dare you teach young children that when i die i will come back as their slave!

    Yes we bus drivers hear a lot of this and more . You should be ashame of yourself.

  35. Holy Cow!!!!! You have got to be kidding me, right? The boys I drive always have baseball mits, baseballs and footballs. Where ever I drive, I always see them playing these sports. STOP IT!!!!!! If that is the worst thing that can be told to your dhildren in the outstide world of your own, you should feel blessed for that. I am sure if it was done it was done innocently with no harm in mind. We do try have some kind of relationship with the children, afterall we drive them for 9 or more months a year. Imagine no conversation at all, but just to tell them how to behave on a school bus, which you are not teaching. PLEASE start appreciating our services and not constantly bashing them, we do a fantastic job.
    And to #54, right on, is that what you are teaching them????????

  36. How can you keep you children from other people in this society, do they shop in stores, Kohl’s, Target, Wallmart, do they go grocer shopping in any shop rite, stop and shop, are they eating Kosher ice cream, what do they do when they walk along the streets and other people are carrying a conversatipon, PERHAPS NOT USING THE BEST LANGUAGE, children see what they want to. and in reality, unless you blindfold them, they will never have a well rounded life.

  37. Sports are played fair and square with respect for the other team, by the rules. But everytime I show up in Lakewood with a colored shirt and Khaki pants and a Kippah Srugah, some little brat calls me a a Goy or a Shaigetz.

    We have a tradition that in the era of the Mashiach, a righteous Gentile will become a Yisroel, a Yisroel a Levi and a Levi a Kohen.

    Sports just might give your kids the social skills this community sorely lacks. Not to mention Ahavas Yisrael and Kavod Ha Bria.

    Yeshivas SHOULD have teams that play each other.

  38. to # 55

    what is there to fake ? the fake is that kids love sports and you want them to pretend not to like sports !! it will never happen!!!!!!!!!

    #55 u need to learn how to live with fellow human beings

  39. The issue is a broader one.
    Drivers should not be talking to children.
    I had an incident a few years ago where my son came home talking about Jesus because of a conversation he had with his driver.

  40. Don’t you people have more things to worry about than baseball? The world is a mess and it has very little to do with baseball. Get with the real world . . .

  41. ok not for nothing but i think its a good thing that the bus driver is talking to ur kids about sports and what ever would you rather him talk to him about things the mom and dad should teach thers kid…my father was a bus driver for a few years b4 he past away and he set rules on the bus and if the kids were good he let them drink and eat on the bus as long as the toss out the trash but he would talk to the kids about sports and new topics that were big that day i think after the kids got to know my father they respected him and he did the same to you should be happy that you have a normal bus driver that doesnt curse ur kids out or fights them and what ever

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