NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - A private, Christian school in Wilmington has adopted a policy giving the school the right to refuse admission of an applicant whose home life includes "homosexual or bisexual activity."
In a letter we obtained that was sent to parents of Myrtle Grove Christian School Wednesday night, the head of the school, J. Stacey Miller, indicates the school will require all families of students enrolling or re-enrolling to sign a "Biblical Morality Policy."
The policy indicates that the school can refuse admission or expel a student who has a home life that is in opposition to a biblical lifestyle.
The exact language of the policy is as follows:
An integral part of Myrtle Grove Christian School's mission is to foster spiritual development and a biblical world view in the lives of its students. This includes leading students to develop a biblical understanding of morality and to pursue a life that is governed by the biblical moral code. The school works in partnership with families to achieve these desired outcomes, which necessitates that both the school and home come under the authority of God for the benefit of the student.
For this reason, the school reserves the right, within its sole discretion, to refuse admission of an applicant or to discontinue enrollment of a student if the atmosphere or conduct within a particular home or the activities of the student are counter to or are in opposition to the biblical lifestyle the school teaches. This includes, but is not necessarily limited to, participating in, supporting, or affirming sexual immorality, homosexual activity, or bisexual activity; promoting such practices; or being unable to support the moral principles of the school.
When reached Wednesday, Miller told WECT.com it was a sensitive issue and he did not want to do an interview for fear of being misquoted.
Miller said he would consider questions emailed to him. The policy is expected to take place with enrollment for the 2014-15 school year.
We also spoke to several parents of students at Myrtle Grove Christian School and received mixed opinions on the decision.
One parent agreed with the decision, stating that a Christian school should observe policies like this. Another said that because the school is private they should be able to enact whatever policies they want.
Other parents disagreed. One parent said they were shocked and offended after reading the new policy. Another said that they didn't believe it was fair for a child who wants to be educated at that school to be denied the education because of their parents lifestyle.
We also reached out to other Christian schools to see what their policies are. Officials at Scotts Hill Christian Academy said they do not have a policy like this. Wilmington Christian Academy officials say they do have a biblical morality policy, but says that theirs focuses on the child's code of conduct and not the parents. Administrators at Coastal Christian High School say their policy prohibits students from having homosexual relationships but didn't specify as to what the punishment for that was.
Rev. John McLaughlin who preaches the St. Jude Metropolitan Community Church which is known for accepting people of all lifestyles, says the new policy is concerning and worries that it teaches children a narrow world view.
"My biggest concern is that this is what the children will be taught, so instead of being taught diversity and different ways of understanding culture and society as well as what is quote biblical and Christian, is that there is one point of view," said McLaughlin. "When policies like this are put into place it shuts down discussion. It's you are either for this policy or you are not, and if you are not your child can't come here for an education and that is the sad part. Instead of moving forward and trying to include more people, to me it is a step backwards because we our segmenting ourselves into small groups of people, so when these children come out of school, how will they integrate into a larger society that may think differently."
Friday, wect.com learned that the school is now inviting parents to submit questions or feedback about the policy.