This article is a summary of a speech presented at a meeting of the Protestant Reformed High School Circle last July at First Church.
Why have our own High School?
When we begin speaking of a Protestant Reformed High School, we must approach the question, “Is it necessary?” The answer is yes. However, there are those who question this. For this reason I will attempt to explain this need.
First school children are human beings; they have the old as well as the new man in them. They are easily influence and impressed. The secondary school years of a student’s life are very important ones. It is during this time that the student begins to do his own thinking. He desires to make his own decisions and these he makes based upon what he has been taught. To emphasize this point I will use Adolph Hitler as an example. When he conceived of his plan to be ruler of the world, Hitler realized that it was necessary to have the support of the people. He accomplished this by taking control of the educational system. He then proceeded to instruct the youth of Germany and indoctrinated them to such an extent that they would even turn their own parents over to the authorities for opposing Hitler. We may then see that the instruction of our covenant youth is important and must make sure that they are properly instructed. This brings us to the question, “Do our covenant youth have this instruction in the secondary schools that they are now attending?”
Let us look at what that proper instruction is. We read the following in second Timothy 3:12-17:
Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; and that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
Proper instruction is that which instructs the covenant youth to continue in living a Godly life in Christ Jesus. This instruction is only of God and we know this from the Holy Scipture which makes us wise unto salvation through faith in Christ. Therefore we must instruct our youth from a curriculum that is in every aspect and in every subject built upon the Word of God. We must instruct our youth to serve their God in every phase of their life.
Are our children receiving this kind of instruction now? I maintain they are not. We read in 2 Peter 2:1:
But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies.
The Christian Reformed Church by adopting the three points in 1924 became false teachers, teachers of the heresy of common grace. As you know today in Calvin College the theory of common grace is constantly being expanded and developed. This is the same college that prepares most of the teachers for the Christian Reformed high schools. Thus every day our students are being submitted to instruction under teachers who maintain the theory of common grace. Three ministers and their consistories felt that it was impossible to submit to the three points. They knew that it would violate the truths of sovereign grace and total depravity. For this reason we became and are “Protestant Reformed.” Is it right then to send our youth to the Christian Reformed high schools where these same three points are maintained? No!
Is it possible to have our own school?
It is our obligation to provide the covenant youth with proper instruction. Therefore I hope to show that it is possible. I was an administrator in a twelve-year school system in South Dakota before coming to Grand Rapids. The experiences from that school I will use as an example to show the possibility of our own high school.
A high school of four grades can be taught by a staff of four teachers and a teaching administrator. We taught the high school in S.D. with three teachers and a teaching principal. The courses that we were able to teach were four years of: math, science, English, social science, and commercial subjects. There was a complete athletic program and we had a part time teacher come in and teach music twice a week. This was a heavy load for each but with the addition of one more teacher it could be worked out very well. To find five teachers for our high school will not be difficult. We have more than that number already who are qualified for this level.
There will be approximately 120 pupils available for a Protestant Reformed High School. This figure is based upon the current enrollment in our grade schools. In South Dakota there are about 35 high schools with an enrollment over 230. The average size of a high school in S.D. is about the same as the figure above, 120. The students in these schools according to standardized tests are rated above the nation average. Thus, we will have a nice sized school.
The budget for running the South Dakota school was $57,000. This included paying salaries to eight full-time teachers, one part-time teacher, and a custodian. There were two large building maintained with money from this budget also. A building to house our own high school would have to have four classrooms and an assembly room. This would mean that there would be three less classrooms and three less teachers and one less building needed in our own plant. For this reason I feel that our plant could be run for about $42,000 a year. This amounts to $350 per student per year. The current cost of educating our youth in the Christian Reformed high schools is approximately $300 per student per year. For this reason I do not believe that money is a barrier.
If our own Protestant Reformed High School is a necessity and a possibility then it is an obligation of our people to provide it for our covenant youth. Therefore, let us show our “board” that we are interested and urge the development of our Protestant Reformed High School.