Christian School Punishes Student for Wanting to Go to Prom May 9, 2009

Christian School Punishes Student for Wanting to Go to Prom

Last night was Prom for my high school students. I never sign up to chaperone the dances… partly because I have no desire to see any of my students skanking it up on the dance floor.

That was the least of Tyler Frost‘s problems. He’s a senior at Heritage Christian School in Ohio, a fundamentalist Baptist school. His girlfriend goes to a public high school.

He wanted to go to her Senior Prom because his own school doesn’t hold such events. In fact, they forbid dancing and rock music.

Frost followed every rule, got every signature, and probably isn’t the type to do anything crazy at the dance (i.e. get drunk).

It doesn’t matter. He’s in deep trouble if he shows up on that dance floor:

The teen, who is scheduled to receive his diploma May 24, would be suspended from classes and receive an “incomplete” on remaining assignments, [principal Tim] 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.

“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.

It’s sad but I guess there’s a upside — the student’s doing everything right. And the Christian school is showing exactly why no one should take them seriously. If they want to cut the students off from society, the students will hopefully see right through that before long.

I hope Tyler goes to Prom tonight and has a great time. Even if his school gives him a diploma, he might as well return it. It’s not like graduating from a school like Heritage will prepare you for the real world, anyway.

(Thanks to everyone who sent the link!)

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  • Where do these clowns get off? If he’s not on school property/attending a school function, what he does is none of their business.

    The guy should go get a G.E.D. instead of a toilet paper diploma from these wankers. $50 and a few hours of your time is worth it.

  • After I read that article, I wondered what kind of lame function the “Christian” school will hold for its students in liew of a prom. I bet you it wouldn’t be near as fun as a real public school prom. Cookies and Kool-Aid?

    I also wrote about this story.

  • schism

    If he’s not on school property/attending a school function, what he does is none of their business.

    Haven’t met too many religious authoritarians, have you? Every action by anyone they view as beneath them (i.e. everyone) is considered their business. Well, technically, it’s considered god’s, but, in reality, they don’t particularly distinguish between the two.

  • They could make a movie out of this:
    Footloose II, anybody?

  • Danielle

    Spook, have you ever seen BYU’s honor code? If you haven’t, it’s available on their website. It clearly regulates behavior on and off campus. I actually considered applying to their business school at one point (I still followed a religion at the time, one of the other requirements) because it’s highly regarded, but as you may imagine, I have a serious problem with people telling me how to behave in my home.

  • I think this kid has learned a valuable lesson about how his church opperates. He followed all the requirements, his parents support him going, yet the school wants to punish him anyway and in a very draconian manner. Barring him from graduation? That’s so ridiculously over the top.

  • gmcfly

    I love how the principal sets it up as a decision between “whether to please self or please God.” I used to fall for that tripe too.

    How convenient that what God wants is up to the school authorities to decide. And following your own common sense is “pleasing self” and “rebellion.”

  • Gabriel

    I love it when these kinds of things happen. The behavior of the conservatives in these situations can only help push more people away from bronze aged superstion and toward rational thinking. There is a good chance that by the time he finishes college he will not be attending any church.

  • Richard Wade

    God never got to go to a prom, and as he said, he’s jealous. So all God’s chil’en cayn’t go to no eeevil prom!

    This fine young man clearly values his individuality and trusts his own conscience more than conforming to authoritarian regimentation. I think he will be in our ranks before he’s 25.

  • Luther

    I love how the principal sets it up as a decision between “whether to please self or please God.” I used to fall for that tripe too.

    Wasn’t it lucky that God always told George Bush to do just exactly what would please Dick Cheney?

  • Pam

    I posted this same story on the boards at It’s very relevant ot me because i attended a Christian school K-12 and a strict Christian college for 3 semesters.
    The K-12 school claimed to regulate behavior outside school, but it didn’t. We also didn’t have school dances but I was lucky enough to get invited to another school’s prom during my senior year. It was a lot of fun and I’m glad I had that opportunity!

    The college I attended, however, did regulate off-campus behavior and it was ridiculous. Glad I transferred out!

  • Welcome to the world of Baptist Fundamentalism.

    On one hand the student and parents agreed to the “rules.” Best I can understand the rules are clearly delineated.

    On the other hand SHOULD a school be able to control what students do away from school? I say No.

    We must understand that in Baptist Fundamentalism very aspect of life is regulated and controlled.

    I attended Findlay High School in the mid 1970’s. I also attended a Fundamentalist Baptist Church in Findlay. The prom was preached against every year. The Church would sponsor an alternative prom.

    Everything the “world” offered the Church tried to have a replacement (and often a grossly inferior replacement)Conformity was demanded.

    While this world seems very bizarre to the non-initiated, to those in it it all seems quite normal. After all the Bible says “love not the world, neither the things in the world”

    I also am acquainted with the principal in this story, Tim England. He is acting according to his sincerely held beliefs. He is dead wrong, and I find his action abhorrent BUT he is not acting in an abnormal way. I know of many kids expelled from Christian schools for things that occurred outside of school hours.


  • mike thomas

    I think that school is doing that student a grave injustice. Jesus said in the Bible “If any of you is without sin, cast the first stone.” The men accused a woman of being a whore. On that note all the men left Jesus and the woman’s site. If Jesus can forgive the woman of her sins why can the school forgive him for what he did? The talks about forgiveness, so why can’t the school practice forgiveness like the Bible talks about. If you suspend the high school senior just do it, but it is morally wrong to bar him from his graduation. I am baptist,and feel that is way too harsh. Some people act like they too holy to make a mistake or to have fun and this is cleary the case.

  • jairo

    It is quite interesting how eveyone weighs in with their own brand of assertive justice without asking fundamental and relevant questions.
    It matters not what we think about the school policy. The school is not taking a public poll in order to determine what is right. Only governments do that!
    Q # 1:
    Did the student and his parents know what the policy was?
    Q # 2:
    Did they accept that policy and sign on the dotted line or its equivalent?
    Obviously they knew and did.
    Now then, does this student (who apparently is a Christian) understand what integrity is?
    You agreed to go to a school that you believed offered a superior education. You now found out that part of their superiority involved matters of integrity, and you decide (too late in the game) that integrity shouldn’t be a part of that educational curriculum, and you reneg on your former agreement. Shame on you and your parents for making this an issue. You are indeed the brand of “Christians” that give all others of your faith a bad rap.
    Let your yes be yes and your no be no. You signed an agreement; honor it. It does not matter that you can’t have your way. Integrity is what the story is about, not dancing. Grow up.

  • bethaney

    i think this is very stupid the school should not be able to punish for activities out side of school if they have nothing to do with authorities of that school and are not sponsored by that school….i got in trouble for something out side of school and got 3 day oss and 7% off all my grades its unfair and wrong and turns people away from the church and God.

  • Joe Bigliogo

    It is incidents like this that confirm for me that it is the Christian fundamentalists who are morally bankrupt. They preach moral values yet do not understand morality because they reject reason in favor of faith. Morality for them is mindless obedience to a series of inexplicable commandments from an invisible celestial dictator. So they become mindless automatons of a primitive bronze age ideology of childish superstition and barbaric morality.

    And they dare claim that THEY are the moral ones? In their dreams or in Superman’s backwards Bizarro world maybe.


    I strongly agree with the judgment, wisdom and decision of the principal, Mr. England. He just did what is right and should be done. First, the student and his parents should realized that before they enrolled in that school they knew the policies very well. They had signed and agreed to follow the standards and policies set by the school. So I believe the student and his parents had forgotten what they have agreed on the policies. If he don’t like the policy, he shouldn’t forced himself to enrolled in the school A person that lost its reasoning right and godly reasonings lost its morality.

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