Monday, May 11, 2009

Tyler Frost vs The Rules

I heard an interesting story on a talk show this morning. A young man who is a senior at a fundamental Baptist school in Toldeo, Ohio, is causing a stir. This school has some pretty strict rules, and at the start of each year, students must sign a contract agreeing to keep those rules.

Among those rules, is no listening to rock music, dancing, hand-holding, or kissing.

This young man, Tyler Frost, has a girlfriend who attends a public school, and wanted him to go to prom with her. He was given a permission slip to have his principal sign. The principal signed it, but pointed out the boy was going to be breaking school rules if he went, and said there would be consequences, and was told what they would be. The big one that is making news stories, is that Tyler will be allowed to graduate - he will be given his diploma, but he will not be allowed to be part of the graduation ceremony. He went to the prom, and now there is talk of the school being sued for their stance.

Are the rules too strict? Maybe, considering they apply when the student is not in school, but the strictness of the rules is not in question, though many people calling in and emailing the talk show kept saying they are too strict. There is even a facebook support page for Tyler.

The issue here is not whether the rules are too strict. The issue is that he signed a contract, knowing what the rules are, and agreeing to them, and now wants to break them without consequence. The parents are doing him harm by going after the school. They are teaching him that there are loopholes to rules, and that the rules don't always apply to him. That if he doesn't like the rules, then he shouldn't have to abide by them, or suffer consequences when he breaks them.

Life is full of rules, and many times we don't like them. When I worked at Hobby Lobby, their return policy had some rules. One that often didn't go over well, was the customer had to show their driver's license and give their phone number to return merchandise. Some customers would hassle the cashier, call for a manager, and throw a fit. All because they didn't like the rule, and thought it shouldn't apply to them.

Our job often has rules that we don't like, and may think is ridiculous, but if we want to work there, we have to keep them. Our churches have rules, and if we sign that membership paper, we promise to keep them, even if we don't like it.

Even the Bible has rules we may not like. That loving our enemies thing? That isn't easy, and a lot of people wish it wasn't in there, but if we want to serve God and do His will, we have to keep ALL the rules, not just the ones we like.

This case with Tyler Frost may seem like a small thing, but that is how society is today. Everyone wants to have their fun, without consequence. That is what abortion is all about, basically. People want to have sex with whoever they want, whenever they want, but they don't want to deal with the consequence of an unwanted pregnancy - don't want that? Then keep the rules.

As far as anyone can tell, Tyler Frost wasn't going to the school against his will. He has gone there for four years, knows the rules, and agreed to keep them. Should there be consequences for breaking those rules? You bet. That is life, and we can never get away from rules.


Kim M. said...

Good grief. I say don't go to a Christian school if you don't want to keep the rules.
Legally(at least I hope) they will just waste their money suing... the states don't control private education.

Christa said...

Excellent post as usual, Mark.