Tyler Frost, 17, a senior at Heritage Christian School in Findlay, Ohio has been suspended for attending a prom with his girlfriend because the Findlay High School’s prom allowed dancing and music. This Taliban-like ruling is based on the Christian school’s policy that forbids dancing, rock music, hand holding and kissing.
Principal Tim England says that Frost was supposed to receive his diploma on May 24 but will now receive an “incomplete” on his remaining assignments. He absence will be hard to miss: he is in a class of four students.
England further threatens that, if he learns that Frost “is involved with alcohol or sex” at the prom, he will be expelled from Heritage. Frost’s family is planning a lawsuit against the school.
Much like the recent case involving a Christian college’s suspension of a porn star, the case raises the right of religious institutions to enforce their moral code. The school describes rock music as “part of the counterculture which seeks to implant seeds of rebellion in young people’s hearts and minds.” It also forbids physical contact between girls and boys in grades 7-12. England stated “For the parents to claim any injustice regarding this issue is at best forgetful and at worst disingenuous. It is our hope that the student and his parents will abide by the policies they have already agreed to.”
He may have a point. Like the Taliban, these Christians reject music, dancing and other modern habits. I find them perfectly medieval but they have a right to run a school according to their beliefs so long as they meet the state requirements and regulations. If Frost finds the school to be in the dark ages, he and his family should not support such a place with their tuition dollars.
Notably, Frost asked permission to do to the prom and England signed a form allowing him to go, but threatened that there would be “consequences” for his decision. England noted “In life, we constantly make decisions whether we are going to please self or please God. (Frost) chose one path, and the School Committee chose the other.”
While by no means as extreme in their measures or subject matter, other schools have been allowed to discipline students for their statements and conduct outside of school, here. Schools have also punished staff and teachers for outside activities viewed as inappropriate, here.
On its website, the school issued this statement:
. . . at the beginning of the school year, every family must sign a statement of cooperation.
Students in 7th through 12th grades must also sign it. It doesn’t say that you have to agree with them, but that we will all abide by them. What kind of a school would we be if we suspended a policy because it was convenient to do so? That would not be a Christ-like response. Jesus did not avoid trouble. He made statements such as, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man cometh unto the Father but by me” (John 14:6). His statements didn’t make Him popular with the world. Can we expect anything else? The verses that I have thought of throughout this day are Matthew 5:11-12, “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” Wow! I can build up a whole lot of rewards in heaven today, and so can you.
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