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Published: Saturday, 5/9/2009

Findlay Christian school says boy can t go to prom

FROM BLADE STAFF AND NEWS REPORTS

FINDLAY A student at a conservative Christian school here will be suspended two weeks before graduation if he attends the Findlay High School prom Saturday night.

Tyler Frost, 17, a senior at Heritage Christian School, said he plans to attend the dance with his girlfriend, who is a student at Findlay High.

Nothing s going to change my mind, although I m really shocked that this is happening to me, the teenager said Friday night.

Heritage Christian is an 84-student Baptist school that forbids dancing, rock music, and hand-holding. Tyler signed a statement agreeing to the school s rules at the beginning of the school year, principal Tim England said.

Instead of graduating with his class May 24, Tyler will be suspended and given an incomplete on his remaining assignments if he attends the prom. He would be barred from graduation, but would be given a diploma upon successful completion of his final exams, the principal said.

Tyler s stepfather, Stephan Johnson, said the school s rules should not apply outside the classroom.

Mr. England said Tyler s family should not be surprised at the school s attitude.

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.

Tyler said he has been enrolled at Heritage Christian for 13 years.

I ve liked the school up until now. I ve never had any big issues with it or gotten into any big trouble, he explained.

Tyler said he tried to be aboveboard in his handling of the situation.

Findlay High requires students attending the prom from other schools to get a form signed by their principal. Tyler did this.

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

Mr. England said he signed the form, but said he issued a warning that Tyler would face consequences if he went to the dance. He took the matter to a school committee composed of church members that decided on the suspension.



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