New York — A 3-year-old boy confessed this week to taking tests for at least two dozen other toddlers who were applying to competitive Jewish preschools in New York City and the Five Towns on Long Island.
The child, whose name is being withheld due to his status as a minor, was arrested leaving the 92nd Street Y in dark sunglasses and a “Kiddie Mensa” baseball hat pulled tightly over his head.
After being promised by authorities a two-year subscription to The Economist, he admitted that he gave false identities when taking the entrance exams for the other children, who bribed him with toys and candy.
“The tests were easy,” the boy told police investigators. “All I had to do was sing the Alef Bet, count to 10 and color inside the lines.”
Authorities learned that on one exam for admission to an ultra-Orthodox nursery in Brooklyn, the imposter was asked to draw a picture of his parents’ bedroom.
“He forgot to hide the television,” said NYPD police captain Eliasz Feit. The school subsequently rejected the child’s application.
The scandal broke after the embittered parents of the real applicant went to the police.
“We felt like the little brat ripped us off,” said Lane D. Parsha, the rejected boy’s father.
The boy’s mother, Fretta Lott, exclaimed, “You don’t understand the pressures. If you don’t get into the right preschool, then you don’t get into a good elementary school, middle school, and high school, not to mention a good college and find the right shidduch. Your whole life can be ruined before your toilet trained.”