Home > Brian's Blogs > Christian School to Suspend Student Over Prom

Christian School to Suspend Student Over Prom

I’m curious what you think about this.  Here is the introduction to the article: “A student at a fundamentalist Baptist school that forbids dancing, rock music, hand-holding and kissing will be suspended if he takes his girlfriend to her public high school prom, his principal said.”  Read the full article below.

Despite the warning, 17-year-old Tyler Frost, who has never been to a dance before, said he plans to attend Findlay High School’s prom Saturday.

Frost, a senior at Heritage Christian School in northwest Ohio, agreed to the school’s rules when he signed a statement of cooperation at the beginning of the year, principal Tim England said.

The teen, who is scheduled to receive his diploma May 24, would be suspended from classes and receive an “incomplete” on remaining assignments, England said. Frost also would not be permitted to attend graduation but would get a diploma once he completes final exams. If Frost is involved with alcohol or sex at the prom, he will be expelled, England said.

Frost’s stepfather Stephan Johnson said the school’s rules should not apply outside the classroom.

“He deserves to wear that cap and gown,” Johnson said.

Frost said he thought he had handled the situation properly. Findlay requires students from other schools attending the prom to get a signature from their principal, which Frost did.

“I expected a short lecture about making the right decisions and not doing something stupid,” Frost said. “I thought I would get his signature and that would be the end.”

England acknowledged signing the form but warned Frost there would be consequences if he attended the dance. England then took the issue to a school committee made up of church members, who decided to threaten Frost with suspension.

“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,” England said.

The handbook for the 84-student Christian school says rock music “is part of the counterculture which seeks to implant seeds of rebellion in young people’s hearts and minds.”

England said Frost’s family should not be surprised by the school’s position.

“For the parents to claim any injustice regarding this issue is at best forgetful and at worst disingenuous,” he said. “It is our hope that the student and his parents will abide by the policies they have already agreed to.”

The principal at Findlay High School, whose graduates include Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, said he respects, but does not agree with, Heritage Christian School‘s view of prom.

“I don’t see (dancing and rock music) as immoral acts,” Craig Kupferberg said.

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Categories: Brian's Blogs
  1. May 9, 2009 at 5:05 pm

    I just posted this exact thing on my blog! It kind of made me mad at first because anyone reading this with little knowledge of church or baptists would instantly connect them with this one instance. and i agree that no matter what happens at school, the rules of the school shouldn’t be enforced outside of the school. oh. and i don’t think rock music is immoral… at least i hope not!

  2. May 9, 2009 at 7:30 pm

    I actually think a school like Cornerstone is more consistent. There you have to sign a “lifestyle” commitment (professors too). This includes refraining from certain behavior even when off the school property. That strikes me as less dualistic…if the school is against it on property, it should be against it off property.

  3. May 9, 2009 at 11:51 pm

    I feel like the school has the right be against it, but i’m still not convinced it’s their right to enforce it outside of the classroom, depending on what it is. I know Moody has a similar policy. I’ll have to think about that…

  4. May 11, 2009 at 8:56 am

    So do I only have to follow the 10 Commandments when I’m in corporate worship, but not at work? Where’s the integrity? He agreed to the rules/guidlines in order to get acceptance into the school, shouldn’t he have to abide by them until he graduates regardless of how ridiculous they are?

    Also, why did the Principal sign the statement? Seems like a passive aggressive move to me and lacking in leadership. The Principal should have refused to sign it, his own rules gives him that authority to say no, this does not fit with our guidelines. Instead he signs it and then threatens the kid. Nice job Principal England, way to pass the buck.

  5. jlemke
    May 11, 2009 at 9:07 am

    Actually, I sort of like what the principal did. He could have made the decision for the student, but chose not to. Instead, he gave the student the freedom to make his own decision – but he warned him of the consequences.

    Far from passing the buck, he is giving a soon-to-be graduate a very fair lesson in how life works. The student is going to graduate, so there is no lasting pain. But the student gets the option over whether or not he will follow the rules. I liked it. The student is being treated like an adult, but within the structure and rules of the school.

    (None of this addresses whether or not I think the rules are sensible. But the student abided by them long enough to get near graduation, so it hardly seems reasonable to complain about them now. In addition, rules covering behavior outside are the norm for many workplaces, as well. Almost everyone has a drug-free policy anymore.)

  6. May 11, 2009 at 10:02 am

    John – I hate it when you disagree with me and then convince me to agree with you. Please stop it! 🙂

  7. rachael
    May 11, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    If he doesn’t agree with the music/partying or whatever, but wants to enjoy his time with his girlfriend at her prom, what’s the big deal? He signs a contract saying he won’t “party” and how is the school to know he doesn’t have rock music on his mp3 player? I don’t think he is trying to be rebellious.

  8. jlemke
    May 12, 2009 at 11:10 am

    Jeff, my mission in life is to antagonize you in the nicest, most pleasant, and most persuasive way possible!! 🙂

    Rachel – It’s not a big deal, except that the school has already and clearly stated that they don’t approve of it. I don’t personally care, but the school cared and the student knew they cared. And he abided by those rules for a really long time. He’s being rebellious by making a stink about the rules at this late date. I just don’t think he should complain about them now. I even think the school gave him a nice and gracious offer to choose. IMHO. (i could be wrong. not likely, but possible ;=)

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