A dispute over education within the Hasidic community made headlines this month after activists demanded the government force Hasidic schools to teach secular subjects.
Now the city Department of Education is investigating these schools — called yeshivas — and even threatening to send them “lesson plans.”
But like a man who steals his neighbor’s butter knife to cut down a tree, the activists are taking the wrong approach and using the wrong instrument.
Young Advocates for Fair Education and a former director of the New York Civil Liberties Union charge that Hasidic schools are failing to provide the legally required instruction in English, math, history and science. Although well-intentioned, using government coercion to achieve their goals violates parental rights and religious liberty — and is unlikely to work anyway.