Create a Balanced Approach with Controlled Exposure

“And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.” Philippians 1:9-11

Two types of parents visit my office inquiring about our school.

On one hand, we meet with parents who are legitimately afraid. I will never forget one in particular. She came in to talk about the possibility of enrolling her son in CLA.

Her face told a tale of both shock and sickness, because the young man was having problems at school. When I asked for more details, I was not ready for the answer. You see, she was upset that he had been viewing pornography at school. “Porn,” she said with a stunned voice.

Now, I am not naive. I know this is a problem.

I know there are some who struggle with pornography, but I was not prepared to hear this mother discussing this issue concerning a 3rd grader. That’s right. Her 8-year-old was viewing porn on a smart phone at school.

She was right to be afraid. Consequently, she came to us looking for help. She came looking for safety and a higher standard of morality.

On the other hand, there are parents who come to us with another set of concerns.

They are worried about over-protecting.

Parents rightly know that kids will not be kids forever. Their kids will be “in the world” – the world of higher education, work, and entertainment. They will face evil, temptation, and they must be ready. Consequently, the parents worry about sheltering. They worry that their children will be like “deer in the headlights “- that, by not being exposed to some things, they may succumb to them. In other words, some parents feel they must build up a tolerance for evil by interacting with evil.

Our response to both parents is this:

Even through we are a Christian school, there is plenty of sin to go around. Our teachers, parents, and students are not perfect. We must learn to deal with those imperfections.  At the same time, however, we are quite different.

How are we different? We use the phrase controlled exposure to describe how we approach this issue.

Controlled exposure means that we will prepare students for life in the real world, but we prepare them in an intentional way. That is, we want to discuss real world issues:

  • At the right time.
  • In the right way.
  • Guided by the right teacher.

All in light of God’s revealed truth – the Bible.

Moreover, we practice controlled exposure in the context of a partnership with families. Recently, Franklin Graham made headlines with a Facebook post filled with righteous indignation. Jay Middle School in Oklahoma taught a 7th and 8th grade sex education class, emphasizing 4 types of sex, complete with a fill in the blank worksheet referring to “underwear zones.”

One student, a twelve-year-old girl in the co-ed class, was so disturbed she asked to be taken out of the class. To make matters worse, the mother did not find out the school was even having the class until after the fact.

This is unthinkable to us.

Our aim is to partner with parents…not to take their place.

We emphasize heavy communication with families. We are in this together, so we communicate and work together as we teach children what they need to know…when they need to know it…it in light of God’s word.

This gives us a balanced approach to difficult issues. You see, without some sort of control, parents are derelict in their duty to their children – just throwing them into the fray hoping they will be O.K. However, without exposure, they will be eaten alive.

We do not believe in throwing our students into the fire unprepared. Instead we train them for real life but teaching them how to think, live, and engage the world in a way that brings God glory. As a result, they will leave Christ’s Legacy Academy protected and prepared. They have been intentionally trained to leave a lasting legacy.