We had a vigorous discussion yesterday arising from the mention of a Democrat-Gazette article concerning a decision by Little Rock Christian Academy not to admit a four-year-old Mormon boy. Doctrinal differences were cited in a wide-ranging article that touched on several issues, including Mitt Romney’s presidential candidacy.
The article has prompted a letter to school parents from Gary Arnold, the head of school. It appears in full on the jump.
In short, he defended the school’s admission decision, but expressed “regret” about the “distraction” and apologized for the “tone” of the article.
He also said:
The article does not accurately capture the heart or mind of our dear school. I also want you to know that, per board policy, the board chair and I are the only official spokespeople for the school. Other voices, even if they are school voices, are not official and may be quite independent of the collective voice of the board and administration.
This seems to be a reference to quotes in the D-G article that captured most of the attention in on-line commenting forums. School board member Carla Emanuel said she thought admission of a Mormon would be a mistake. (Stuart Miller is the Board chair.) Said the Democrat-Gazette article in quoting her:
“It’s very, very sneaky when people come in, especially in elementary and junior high grades where the kids are very influenced. It’s frightening how quickly things can get turned around,” she said. “They are called to do that, which is fine. But then start a Mormon school,” she said.
Later, the article added:
Emanuel, the board member, said the nation’s 6.1 million Mormons’ salvation is suspect, adding: “I don’t believe they’ll go to heaven.”
As luck of timing would have it, Emanuel, wife of Dr. Peter Emanuel, the director of UAMS’ Cancer Institute, didn’t figure prominently this week only in the daily newspaper. She is also on the cover of this month’s Soiree magazine (cover shown) with the headline “Winged Warrior.” The article delves into her religious beliefs in the course of a profile on her volunteer work, including as a board member at Little Rock Christian. She said of the school, “… we’ve got that little something extra that produces well-rounded, committed young men and women.”
The Soiree article also said of her work on the LR Christian Board:
“To be asked to be on the school board was such an honor. I am in a room full of lawyers, judges, teachers, CPAs, business owners, heads of school and then, there I am. Very humbling,” she admits. “This group of men and women are solid, 100 percent sold-out for Christ. Nothing is ever taken lightly, or for granted. We discuss everything with great detail.”
She continues, “The work we do will affect the entire campus and the community. We believe in what we are doing and that it will make a difference for many generations to come.”
Continue for Arnold’s letter