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Published: Monday, 5/11/2009

Student at Christian school in Findlay to share prom suspension story nationally


FINDLAY - Tyler Frost had a great time at prom Saturday and is glad he went, even though it now means he’s suspended from his Christian school.

"I’m glad that I had the opportunity to go," said Tyler, 17, a senior at Heritage Christian School. "I’m glad that I know what prom is like and we had a good time."

But his decision to go to Findlay High School’s prom with his girlfriend means a two-week suspension and that he’s unable to participate in graduation activities at the 84-student Baptist school that he’s attended for 13 years. The school forbids dancing, rock music, and hand-holding.

Tyler’s story has gained much local national attention.

TV cameras and radio crews were outside his school Monday morning and Tyler is scheduled to be on the CBS Early Show on Tuesday.

Heritage Christian Principal Tim England has said that Tyler signed a statement agreeing to the school’s rules at the beginning of the school year.

While Tyler’s stepfather Stephan Johnson doesn’t dispute that, he said the school’s rules shouldn’t apply outside of school. He also noted that the letter informing the family of Tyler’s suspension doesn’t state a specific rule that his stepson violated by attending the prom.

"We’re not arguing religion, any of that. Not at all. We’re arguing that it wasn’t in the rule book," he said.

The school’s Web site has a statement to parents about the situation using Bible verses to support the school’s position. The principal quotes parts of the Old Testament about Joseph fleeing a place of temptation.

"The question as I see it is, should a Christian place themselves at an event where young ladies will have low cut dresses and be dancing in them?," the principal wrote. "Isn’t it contrary to the example of Joseph and the verses that I stated?"

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