12.01.2005

Sneaky Christians Preach To Kids Instead of Giving Anti-Drug Assembly - Then Deny It, Say 'Liberal Kids' Lie

Eureka Springs: School Safety Seminar Takes a Morality Shift

from NWA News

ARKANSAS - Eureka Springs School District patrons are buzzing over an alcohol-awareness seminar that turned into a morality lesson at the city’s high school.

More than 300 students in 7th through 12th grades attended a presentation by a Minnesota-based organization called You Can Run But You Cannot Hide before the district dismissed for spring break March 16.

Some students who attended the assembly said that what began as a message to stay away from alcohol transgressed into rants from lecturers on topics including abortion, gun control, the sanctity of marriage, and "the dangers of rock and roll."

District administrators contracted with the group to perform an anti-drug-and-alcohol skit through funds allotted from the state for "safe and drug-free" school programs. The three-hour presentation included a period when boys and girls were split into two groups for "virtue lessons" by presenters Bradlee Dean and his wife, Stephanie, said Amy Deitcher, a 16-year-old high school junior.

During the girls' session, Joy reportedly told teenagers they "would get black spots" on their wedding dress if they held hands with a boy. Later, the girls' group was presented with a "treasure chest" theory in which they were told that any sort of physical contact with a man before marriage would result in a woman becoming "leftovers" for her husband, Deitcher said.

Deitcher said she walked out with friends when Joy presented a list of "characteristics a good husband would have," which included the suggestion a prospect be a "God-fearing man."

Boys were warned of the dangers of rock and roll and promiscuity, she said.

"It seemed like total propaganda. It was like a cult. They were trying to get kids who can't think for themselves to think like them," Deitcher said in a telephone interview.

You Can Run But You Cannot Hide performers were scheduled to present to the district's elementary school children, but Superintendent Reck Wallis canceled the performance after hearing reports about the high school presentation, Eureka Springs School Board President Rusty Windle said.

Windle said he'd fielded several phone calls from parents upset about the assembly, concerned the content of the presentation wasn't appropriate for a public school.

The district might investigate creating a more stringent policy for approving school assemblies presented by outside groups, Windle said.

Dean, founder of You Can Run But You Cannot Hide, said the message in the group's performance has been altered by liberals in the school who are "bending" what was said. He acknowledged the "leftovers" comment but said it was meant to encourage teenagers to make the right decisions. "Do you think that was the heart of her intent, to tell kids they’d be a bunch of leftovers? You've got a bunch of liberal kids listening to what they want to hear and that's the bottom line," he said.

There were no direct references made to the Bible or Christianity during the skit, he said, although he added he identifies himself as a Christian and supports religious principles. The group's Web site states that the organization is a non-profit "charitable church ministry."

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