Problems at a Christian(?) school
A letter from Ruth D.
April 2003
I am a parent of three children who attend a Christian School in Idaho. The following are some of the reasons I am removing my children from this school.

I confronted the school about a so-called "school tradition" of spanking children to celebrate their birthdays. I know some of my children's friends have been traumatized by this. I confronted the principal about this, and he said that I signed an agreement when I enrolled my children that I accepted the rules of the school. I told him this that this birthday spanking thing was wrong and not a part of our agreement. He said that he wasn't about to change a school tradition and that it was harmless fun. The school administrators frequently quote "spare the rod" scriptures to justify their treatment of the students.

The new principal is just as much into corporal punishment of the children as the former principal, if not more so. He teaches 6th grade history and Bible. This man frequently moralizes to the children, who are made to feel bad if they don't agree with the doctrinal positions he holds, e.g., subjugation of women, spare the rod, etc. I have observed corporal punishment misused several times on my sons' classmates. A couple months ago, I tried to prevent a little boy from getting a spanking and told the principal not to do it. He did anyway, and it turns out the little boy had a 102 degree temperature. It is not uncommon at school assemblies to hear the principal require the children to recite "mantras" about using the rod to cast out foolishness, and other twisted sayings including teaching the children it is wrong to show emotion. I have videotaped some of these assemblies.

The school is run by a cultish, legalistic church headed by a very charismatic controlling leader. At a recent school board meeting he pushed through a new policy prohibiting women from being in any positions of authority at the school. The school recently announced a 5 year plan, in which it intended to establish the leader's philosophy called "new world thinking" as the standard for all teachers, staff and students. I am aware that a 109-page complaint has recently been filed with the Reformed Presbyterian Church about this group. There seems to be an atmosphere of fear in the school. Teachers are afraid to say anything because they might lose their jobs, and parents are afraid their children will be kicked out if they complain.

I believe the school discriminates against divorcees, single mothers, and minorities, in particular, blacks. One of my sons, who is in the 4th grade, studied the civil war this year. When I mentioned that I was offended by the fact that a very large portrait of Robert E. Lee hangs in his classroom, his teacher glorified the confederate leader, explaining that General Lee was a very Godly man.

My criticisms of the school have been met with anger. Whenever I go to the school, I make it a point of having a friend with me to act as a witness. The one time I did have it out with the superintendent, he treated me like I was dumb, ignorant, and should be grateful for the things the school has done for my children. He spoke to me in a condescending and insulting tone. As a single, divorced mother, no one at the school has anything nice to say to me. I know of other single mothers who have been similarly mistreated and have taken their children out.

Despite the fact that my children are well-liked and excel academically, I am not re-enrolling them. Please post my letter on your Web site. I want other parents to know the truth.

Ruth D.

Return to Abuse in the Classroom at
See Flogging for God at
Return to Project NoSpank Table of Contents at