Monday, March 26, 2007

Christian Schools and Families . . . Again

My first thought upon hearing that a Catholic school has banned students from MySpace, even at home, on pain of suspension wasn’t, “What gives them the right?”

It is a private school. Therefore it can mandate that students must say a hundred Hail Marys a day while standing on their heads should those in charge so desire. It has the right.

No, my first thought (or close to first) was, “There we go again.” There’s another Christian school running roughshod over families. Granted, what the school in question is doing is exceptional. But it’s far from the first time I’ve seen Christian schools push around families in an unchristian manner.

While living in Denton, I was familiar with a Christian school that showed little regard for families and their time by assigning excessive (and sometimes dubious) homework even to elementary school students. So my thinking upon hearing the MySpace story is why do Christian schools so often intrude on turf that belongs to families?

Christian schools, if genuinely Christian, should know better about respecting family space. Yet they often show less respect than public schools. And with the sorry track record public schools often have in this area, that’s saying something.

If a school, private or public, told me that a kid of mine couldn’t use MySpace anywhere at all, even in the home, I would ask what business is that of theirs. And I would be tempted to use less than wholesome language in so doing. People can have different opinions about MySpace. And they are quite welcome to espouse them. But if someone tries to impose their opinion on my house, they are asking for a fight.

And it is no school’s business what social networking web sites kids use at home. That is the family’s business. You’d think a Catholic school of all institutions would know that and respect the prerogatives of families.

What provokes me further are the parents at the school that support the new policy. What? They need the school to maintain order at home? Or do they think their opinion about MySpace should be imposed on all families of that school? Stick to looking after your own children, Stupid!

And some Christian schools also would do well to mind their own business a bit more, and leave family matters to families.

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