As a faculty we have been pondering this year what our governing principles should be in regard to advising students about post high school plans. Most of you parents know that we explicitly believe that college is not necessarily the right option for all students. We also recognize that scholarship is valued by our parents and students and that usually the decision is going to be that college is the right next step. This post doesn’t assume all our students are going to go to college, but it is addressed to those parents and students who are planning on going that route. We have graduated three classes so far and all but one of the nine students have chosen college as the next stop in the road.

As parents who are paying significant portions of your income for your students to be educated in a certain way, we assume that you believe that education is important for a host of reasons. Among those reasons are quality of life, future financial gain and character development. You choose a Christian school to emphasize the character development and discipleship. You recognize that education is formative and it changes and molds the student. You choose classical because you believe that this is the best curriculum and pedagogy. Your student will learn the best content and they will do so using the best tools money can’t buy. The question we are left with is: why does this end at high school?

I cannot assume that most parents keep up with the various college campus insanity going on this country. Here are some interesting examples: Yale students in 2016 advocated for the removal of “white, male poets” from the english curriculum. This would of course include Shakespeare and John Milton just to name two which we read here at HRA. At the University of Arizona students are advocating for racially segregated safe spaces. Some black students even advocated to have a black only residence hall. Separate but equal, what could go wrong? Recently Harvard has heard arguments to remove Shakespeare from its English literature classes as a requirement and to replace it with a required class on how to not microaggress people that are overweight. I would like to point out as I type this that google docs has put a little squiggly red line under the word “microaggress” because even google docs knows that isn’t a real word. Certain colleges have mulled banning ethnic food prepared by people that are not of that ethnicity for fear of “cultural appropriation.” Certain “Christian” universities teach liberal interpretations of the scripture (arguing that the bible isn’t really God’s word but may contain his word at certain points) and pluralism (other religions lead to heaven). Other Christian colleges are teaching evolution, homosexuality and fluid gender theory are legitimate ideas worthy of consideration and belief. The above sign repudiating free speech which is hurtful is real. As is this one:

 


May or may not have been trained in informal logic…

Reasons why this is happening are legion. Among those reasons is that education at the lower levels (high school and down) is failing to teach people how to think clearly and well. Additionally, colleges operate as businesses now. Students and their paying parents are consumers and the colleges must appeal to the consumer to make money. Hence a college listening to these absurd demands and actually considering them rather than laughing out loud. Some financial gurus are actually predicting that higher education is a full blown financial bubble and will burst soon. (Hopefully) Putting many colleges of out of business and realigning the survivors with real academic needs.

More sinister things are going on, though. Control of the educational institutions is a major goal of political dissidents throughout human history. Brittany Hunter writer at FEE.org says the following:

Nazism did not simply appear out of thin air and infect the minds of a docile German people. There were academic roots that, while grown in the soil of socialist thought, grew into a philosophy that praised German superiority, ultimate war, and the degradation of the individual.

By the time your students graduate from HRA I would hope that they would be formed enough to avoid becoming socialists or nazis from hearing crummy professors and half-baked student groups preach about income equality and LGBT rights. But these very dangerous ideas start somewhere.

The bottom line is, your student will be changed by the place that they attend college.

All we are asking is that they return the favor.

If we believe, as we do today, that education forms and changes the person who engages in it, does that stop at high school graduation? I assert that it does not.

We recognize that for many families, college is a financial decision. Where can I go the cheapest? That’s where I am going. I would also like to think that we do a fair job of preparing our students for dealing with the shenanigans of college whether they be ideologically toxic student goon squads or just old fashioned debauchery for which college students have been well known since (literally) the middle ages. If options are something that you have, think hard about the consequences of a college. If we believe, as Jesus taught, that a student becomes like his teacher, what does that mean about how we pick our teachers?

We recognize that as a faculty we are on the outside of a college decision. That is first and foremost a personal, family matter. But, don’t be offended if we try to guide your students to consider alternatives that we believe will continue their discipleship and continue to build them up as scholars and adults.
Because those options do exist.