Monday, May 11, 2009

Heritage Christian School of Findlay, Ohio; and the Curious Case of Tyler Frost

The national news media has, since Friday, been starting to pick up a minor story from Heritage Christian School of Findlay, Ohio, which told a student that he would be suspended if he chose to attend the public school prom. The student, one Tyler Frost, defied the school, attended the prom, and received the suspension today.

A couple of media stories can be found here and here. As is almost expected these days, the student's dad is threatening to sue if the suspension is not lifted.

Naturally, most people today have no understanding about why the school made this decision, or why it has the policy in the first place. Most will not bother reading what the school has to say about the matter. The majority of the public feedback so far favors Tyler.

The majority is wrong.

There are several key facts in the case:

  • First of all, Tyler and his parents signed a statement of cooperation each year. Regardless of their personal feelings toward the school policies, they agreed to abide by them. Tyler has attended Heritage Christian since kindergarten, and his grandmother is a teacher there. There were no surprises.
  • The school's policy regarding proms (and such) is consistent with the school's view of the Bible and the school's understanding of, and teaching about, Christian living. Attendance at a prom is incompatible with Christian living. Tyler knew this.
  • Tyler and his parents are dragging the school's reputation as far down as they can, and are bringing a lot of unnecessary, unwarranted, and negative media coverage upon the school. Quite frankly, in my opinion, for this alone Tyler should be expelled.
  • Tyler's behavior is nothing short of defiant rebellion. He, with the willing support of his parents, is parading his defiance for all to see. This is entirely inappropriate where lawful authority is concerned, and all the more galling when intentionally done in front of a world which has very little understanding of God or of obedience. Tyler probably claims to be a Christian, but his actions portray something else.
The school is entirely within its rights to suspend this young man; I would argue that the school would be within its rights to also expel him for the circus he has instigated.

As a footnote, I know a few folks who are affiliated with HCS. The school has had an excellent all-around reputation for a long time. I would be quite pleased to put my children in that school if we lived anywhere near Findlay, Ohio. I'd even be happy to teach there.


Brenda Brough said...

I completely side with the school!!! Nothing irritates me more than when a person/family is told WAAAAY ahead of time what the policies are and are required to SIGN a paper where they acknowledge they understand the policies, go ahead and THUMB their NOSE at the said policies, go against said policies, and then SUE when they are given the consequences...which they UNDERSTOOD would be coming because of the offense. We do need to pray for the protection of the school as they obviously being tested right now. I also think we should pray that the folks at the school can be gracious as they stand for their policies, and end up being salt and light to the community as well as to this unsaved father!!! May the Lord be magnified and glorified through this!!!

Hannah said...

I see both sides of this, and I guess in the future people will choose not to place their children in Christian schools. They see it as their authority over their children is taken away even after school hours. I'm not saying that will change the policies of schools like this, nor am I saying it should. I do hope they find a fine line with these things so they can be settled regarding these types of matters. I would hate to see less children going to Christian schools, and not being saved due to their experiences there.

rohall59 said...

Sad to say, this will have a major negative impact on the CHURCH (body of Christ). This highlights the two major issues the world has with the church (the instituiotn), legalism and hypocracy. It also highlights the lack of persoanl responsibility. The parents missed out on an opportunity to teach their son about our commitment and responsibility. The father also seems to have missed the point on the scriptural admonition that we settle our differnces without a suit. This is wrong on so many levels.

Anonymous said...

I would say that, though I don't agree with the statement of cooperation, the school has good reasoning for taking the action they took. Tyler and his family signed. They were aware of the restrictions and consequences of violations. If they didn't agree, they should not have signed. Why would the family try to sue the school when they signed to an agreement. I would be upset that my child is being suspended but I would also understand that my child is the one who went against the rules. The school has responsibilities to uphold the regulations. The can't allow students to go breaking rules. Rules are set to be followed and when they are broken they have consequences. Not to mention these rules were presented and the family AGREED!! The school would be less respected if they allowed Tyler to go unpunished.