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Tuition contract

Question:

I had enrolled my 20 year old son in a Bais Medrash during the Sept 2020 – June 2021 year. The yeshiva made a Tuition contract which I signed agreeing to pay $1,025.00 a month. From Sept 2020 – January 2021 I paid. During Dec-January 2021 he was attending sporadically, coming late in the morning and sometimes leaving before 5pm when seder finished. They also had evening sedorim which were optional which he never went to. By February 2021 he basically stopped going claiming he wasn’t given good chaverusos (well, his chavrusa came on time and he came 11-12:00 so the chavrusa wanted out).
My son claimed he was depressed and became a gaming addict on his computer which he claimed was a diversion from how he felt. He basically locked himself in his room all day either gaming or watching movies. He now has a job, but whenever he is home does the same thing sometimes staying up very late (2-3am). He seems fine when gaming with his worldwide friends, joking with them and really having a good time. I had told him back in Feb 2021 that I am not going to pay his tuition if he doesn’t attend and therefore he won’t get any college credits for that period that is unpaid. The tuition contract never stated that I am beholden to pay whether he attends or not. They just wanted an understanding and commitment that I agreed to pay that amount of tuition for the school year. The yeshiva is not a full place and there is plenty of spaces for other boys to join them, so it’s not as if he prevented another from coming by signing up initially. I told them I had no problem in paying had he attended, but is it fair for me to pay for 5 months of tuition when he never attended then? The yeshiva administrator asked to at least pay something of the balance owed. What is your opinion?

 

Answer:

May Hashem help your son, that he should realize what he is doing to himself, and return to having a normal life, and go back to Yeshiva.

Regarding your question, it is hard to fully answer your question, without hearing both sides, and without knowing what the minhag of schools in that area is in such an instance. In general though, the Shulchan Aruch CH:M 334-4 say that if a student got sick, which caused that the teacher can no longer teach him, that the father does not have to pay the teacher. Unfortunately, what happened to your son is not a physical ailment, rather an emotional and spiritual one, nevertheless the school doesn’t really can’t really teach him this way.

Having said that, it would be a correct thing to give the school a part of the balanced owed as the administrator said.

Again, may Hashem send your son siyata dishmaya, and he should retur him to the proper path.

Best wishes

 

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1 Comment

  1. Thank you. I appreciate your quick response.
    I will follow your recommendation.

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