Prospective Students Beware: Milken Tours Take a Much-Needed Hiatus


Photo taken by Ayla Kattler and adapted by Eden Hirsch

An example of the modified Milken merch being traded upon discovery by a Milken tour.

Milken Community School has temporarily suspended all tours of Milken by prospective students and families after an unfortunate incident in early February. Though the Milken administration attempted to cover up the incident, Milken’s unofficial Open Secrets Instagram account leaked the story not two hours after it happened.

The site of the now infamous Accutane-deal and merch-exchange. (Photo by Ayla Kattler)

The Silberberg family was taking a tour of Milken’s theater with Ms. Liss, Milken’s Admission Associate, when they discovered a group of four juniors carrying out a secretive trade of illicit substances. When Ms. Liss asked the students if they were in this year’s musical, Spongebob the Musical, one student (who will remain anonymous) said, “What’s a Spongebob?” Another student attempted to leave and a small packet fell out of their pocket. As the Silberbergs looked on in shock, the student blurted out, “I don’t want to have to walk down the division hallway to get my Accutane, I’ll get dress coded!”

These transgressions might have been forgiven had Ms. Liss not discovered a bag filled with off-brand Milken merch that was about to change hands. The shirts, though in the signature Milken colors, bore sigmas like “Milk-In Community School” and “House Mekhat.” The students who were attempting to sell the off-brand, though reasonably priced, merch have been apprehended and given a month’s detention. There is no news on if they got in trouble for the low-key drug deal. The Silberbergs were escorted off the premises and given a small 3D-printed tzedakah box from the Guerin as an apology. 

These issues arose when Milken students returned to school after almost a year of virtual learning. During this time, tours were canceled for a few months in the interest of Covid-19 safety. However, unable to navigate Milken’s website, prospective students stopped applying to the school entirely. In a terrified panic, Milken’s communications team quickly reinstated the tours. 

Another shirt adapted by an unnamed student. (Photo taken by Ayla Kattler and adapted by Eden Hirsch.)

This continuation of Milken tours unfortunately coincided with a turbulent time for students. Chaos reigned as students tried to navigate new Milken policies and, surprisingly, furniture. The first few awkward bump-ins were not particularly memorable. A Sinai Akiba family ran into a group of students using the ping-pong paddles to knock a frisbee off of the roof. A Pressman eighth-grader on her way to the science labs found an unnamed 12th-grader drawing mustaches and hats on the Adam and Eve mural near the Guerin. All of the incidents were quickly forgiven as Milken eccentricities, but a few other occurrences were not so readily forgotten.

In one incident, now famous within the Los Angeles Jewish day school community, a Steven S. Wise family walked into a Town Hall meeting, expecting to see a celebration of the Jewish holiday Tu B’Shvat, which honors trees and the natural world. Instead of seeing Nachum Peterseil, Milken’s acclaimed song-leader, leading the upper school students in songs about spring and new life, they witnessed students proudly singing “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond as division leaders tried (and failed) to regain some semblance of order. When the Wise family asked one tenth-grader why they were singing, they said, “I think we’re protesting something. Merch? Or the late work policy? I forget.” 

Another 12th-grader (who has since been accepted to Tulane), screamed at the family: “Sweet Caroline, baby! Milken’s going down!” After the incident, Milken formally apologized to the family, and publicly apologized to Neil Diamond for such a horrible rendition of his song. 

Though Milken is planning to resume tours next fall, they have proposed a temporary solution for the time being. Mr. Zach Morrow, Milken’s Creative Director, has proposed using the Owl Cameras available in every classroom (which were utilized to broadcast classroom activities to Zoom participants) in order to show prospective families what an average Milken classroom experience is like, without being in the classroom. Though the staff of The Roar believes that randomly turning cameras on in classrooms might beget some unintended consequences, reporters have not been able to reach Milken administrators for a comment.

Purim stories are fictional, satirical stories to celebrate The Roar’s favorite Jewish holiday, Purim!