Last time I posted about the situation with Tyler Frost and his school, Heritage Christian School. Tyler was told that if he attended a prom (with his girlfriend who attends a different school), he would not have the right to graduate with his senior class, and he'd even be suspended.
As Tyler says, http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/05/12/earlyshow/main5008061.shtml this situation provided him with one of his first serious choices as a young adult. He weighed the situation and made a choice.
No choice he could have made would be good on all counts. He's been punished by his school for attending a prom and thereby breaking their rule against dancing. His high school experience at Heritage will be forever saddened, I think.
On the other hand, if he had done the opposite, he would not have been following his heart. He would have been abiding by rules that he didn't truly agree with. He would have diminished a very special night by telling his girlfriend that he wasn't going to be with her at her prom - all because of this contract he signed that he would not dance or listen to rock music.
Faced with that choice, he feels he made the right one, and I agree. I think he should be proud of himself for facing this matter and the media attention with a lot of dignity.
I do understand the views of the school. But punishment in my opinion - is very harsh in this case. And I'm angry at the school for their actions. If they think that this will make Tyler look back at their decision and feel good about it, they're very wrong.
To be treated like a pariah for doing something that is a part of high school culture is beyond extreme.
They believe that to attend a prom and dance and see "low-cut dresses" (as the principal said) will be a bad thing for Tyler as a young Christian man.
But as other commenters on the internet have said, Christ was known for going out among all the people. He was criticized for spending time with "sinners." And He also said "Let your light shine; don't hide it under a bushel."
Tyler still holds to his views but this experience may very well take a huge toll on his faith somewhere down the road. I know this because something like this happened to me when I was close to Tyler's age. To be punished or shunned for being human is just not okay. It's far worse when one is punished or shunned by a religious group that one is a member of!
I think the people over at Heritage Christian School should take this opportunity to rethink their rules instead of punishing a young man who seems to be quite exemplary. I'm sure if they try, and if they really care, they can find a way to deal with this situation without taking so much away from Tyler. A lot of damage is already done. I hope they do not make it worse, as they're planning to do.
As a parent, there are many times I cringe to see what children see and hear and read these days. I realize that the only way for me to totally shield a child from everything I wouldn't want them to see or read would be to live out in a rural area and homeschool and have no media in my life. And I know that some people actually do that.
But first of all this is not realistic or even possible in most cases. And it's not what life should be about either. We shouldn't have to shun or fear or avoid the situations of life. We are here to embrace them.
I could have spent life praying about the afterlife as I know some actually do. But I love life and want to live it here, now. And I also love media and music and theater and many things which also contain things I don't like or want to hear. I tried living shutting them all out and avoiding most of it - and it did not make me happy. I got tired of trying not to believe what I did believe. I got tired of being afraid of going to hell and having that be my primary reason for doing many of the things I did regarding faith. That doesn't leave me in the most comfortable place at times churchwise. I'm at a crossroads. But that is part of being human.
I still have faith but it has been a difficult road. And it started with an experience much like Tyler's - of taking a big hit in a faith community as a result of doing what I believed in. Heritage School - I hope you're listening. But chances are that a place like Heritage would not listen to my viewpoint because they would assume that I don't understand them or what is "scriptural." I understand only too well.
I think Tyler should have permission to be human. As a young man, he's a precious person who deserves love and support from his educators -NOT punishment. I also think that if Heritage Christian School is truly Christian, then they will act with humility and gentleness and consider the young life that they're dealing with and the long-term effects of their actions. What response will really make Tyler feel more love for God? Taking away his graduation, suspending him, and not allowing him to take his final exams on time is definitely NOT the answer.