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The Student News Site of Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy

RampageWired

The Student News Site of Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy

RampageWired

The Student News Site of Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy

RampageWired

Photo by Teddy Zitron
D'var Torah
March 15, 2024

HBHA’s Faculty-Kids Find Solace in Therapeutic Support Group

If you walk through the halls of Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy (HBHA) on a Monday during lunch, you might hear faint sobbing coming from the broom closet upstairs in room 206. Despite its appearance, this gathering is, in fact, a club, or rather a support group entitled Faculty-Kids Support Group (FKSG).

Senior Elana Goldenberg, a faculty-kid, founded FKSG hoping to provide love and support for her peers who also suffer the reality of being a faculty-kid and to provide them with an outlet in which they can discuss their struggle. The club’s official definition of “faculty-kid” is “a student whose parent works at the school they attend.”

Senior Elana Goldenberg stresses that the most difficult part about being a faculty-kid is “hav[ing] to make sure that I don’t embarrass my mom again; it’s happened before, and it wasn’t pretty.”

Many other faculty-kids agree with Goldenberg’s sentiment. Kayla Goldenberg remarked, “Think about what I have to go through! Teachers are everywhere and know everything about me. They know who I hang out with after school, they know where I live, and sometimes they even come to my house.  Being a faculty-kid is really hard. We have had to make the decision to not talk about school at home. If someone asks ‘how was your day?’ they get an x on a chart. If anyone gets 3 ‘x’s’ in a week, they get a warning, but if they get 4, well, we haven’t gotten there yet, but if we ever do, I might have to move to Canada.”

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Members of FKSG share their sorrowful stories and comfort each other as they cry. Photo by Eliana Schuster.

Eighth grader Josie Safir has also had a difficult experience as a faculty-kid.

“The teachers are watching me way too closely, waiting to find something that I did wrong so that they can tell my mom,” Safir complains. “So what if I ate gum off the floor?  Who cares if I threw paint across the art room?  Isn’t that what middle school is all about?”

Elana Goldenberg shared that finding teachers in her home is an issue. With a horrified look on her face, she shared, “a few times a year, my mom will have parties for the teachers at our house. They’re always super loud and scary, and I have to hide in my room and pretend I’m dead so that I don’t have to see teachers outside of school.” Stories like Elana’s and Kayla’s fill the conversation when FKSG meets.

FKSG member Haidee Clauer is not only a faculty-kid, but the principal’s kid. Her traumatic experience began at a young age, and she suffered in silence until she finally worked up the courage to talk about her struggle.

At the end of fifth grade, I decided it was time to have ‘the talk’ with my parents,” Clauer shared. “After a long period of sitting in uncomfortable silence, I finally asked my parents the most terrifying question of my entire life. I remember it vividly- the pain in my voice as I asked, ‘Dad, do you work at my school?’ The answer shouldn’t have been too surprising, but it was still horrifying. Maybe I was just too scared to accept that I was a faculty-kid.”

In order for an HBHA club to be official, it must have a staff adviser. When she founded the support group, Elana Goldenberg considered asking HBHA’s school counselor, Dr. Ayala Rockoff, to oversee the group’s activities but deemed her unfit for the position, seeing as she herself is a faculty parent. FKSG remains, at present, without an adviser, meeting discreetly in the closet.

Elana Goldenberg will be graduating in May, and will pass her title of FKSG President on to a younger faculty-kid. She knows that the struggle of being a faculty-kid will forever remain, but she believes that FKSG “will truly lessen the burden on faculty-kids. I’m so grateful that we’re starting such a wonderful network of connected students.”

Scientists have yet to find any solid evidence as to the effects that being a faculty-kid can have on children’s health and emotional development, but research is being conducted. FKSG is fundraising to donate to this research. They request that you consider donating to their worthy cause.

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