Carie Charleston had had a rough weekend. She and her two children called the Sheriff’s office three times for incidents involving her ex-husband. On Monday morning, she told the principal of Holy Trinity School where she was working as a second grade teacher about the situation and to keep an eye out for her husband. Sure enough he showed up and the school went on lockdown. Ms. Charleston was subsequently put on administrative leave and her two children who attend the school were expelled. Three months later she was fired.
If I were a parent of a student at the school I would be outraged. To the point of removing my own children from the school. I’m paying tuition for my children to attend a school where they can learn and grow in a Christ centered environment. That’s more than just having prayer at lunch and learning creationist theory. What kind of Christian example does this set? If something bad is happening to someone, turn the other way? It’s definitely not the Christian example I want taught to my children.
I wonder if they make sure that they don’t have pictures of famine in Africa so their students don’t feel bad. What about bullying? Will the school expel the student being bullied because they’re creating an unsafe environment that provokes bullies? At what point can you rationalize the message of Jesus into ignoring those suffering in your midst?
I understand that there is a safety issue here with serious concerns for the remaining students at the school. But in the wake of the Newtown shootings this seems like an extreme reaction. If you fear for the safety of your students, shouldn’t you look into your safety protocols first? They have nothing to fear if doors are locked and guests must check in and out through one door in the office. These school officials are the Priest who crossed over to the other side of the road so they didn’t have to touch the Good Samaritan.
James 1:27 says “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress”. Ms. Charleston didn’t do anything wrong. She married and divorced a horrible person and is trying to live her life well without him. She had the courtesy to tell her employer of the situation and in so doing, issued a silent plea for help from those whom she believed would care most; the Christian community in whom she trusts. I hope every divorced woman, single mom, or victim of domestic violence in that church community realizes the message this sends. This church and school only care unless it doesn’t effect them personally. I hope there’s another Christian school in the area who responds with the compassion of Jesus Christ and hires here, regardless of whatever baggage she comes with.