An article appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald today, Schools move to bankrupt parents, describing how many private schools are chasing families for large amounts of unpaid school fees, no doubt due to fallout from the Global Economic Crisis (GFC). Some of these schools are Christian schools from various denominations – Protestant, Catholic, and non-denominational. They have every legal right to pursue families for unpaid fees.
For those schools that call themselves ‘Christian’, who market themselves as places which teach children Christian values and ways – is there any kind of moral dilemma here? As Christians, we aren’t supposed to take each other to court , though some ‘Christians’ may have tried to take advantage of that, and behaved unethically while expecting no legal comeback. Admittedly, this isn’t Christians taking one another to court – it is organisations that claim to be Christian, taking families to court, who may or may not be Christian. But it does raise the issue.
Some of the fees owed seem to be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. They’ve been allowed to mount up because it has been deemed to be in the interests of the children for them not to change schools. Is it really in the kid’s interests to let fees mount up to a level that is impossible for a family to repay without selling their house? Particularly assuming that the school’s intention was to sue if it got to a certain level?
Can schools which behave this way – and there seem to be a lot of them – really be regarded as places where children will be taught Christian values?
1 Cor 6:7-8
7-8These court cases are an ugly blot on your community. Wouldn’t it be far better to just take it, to let yourselves be wronged and forget it? All you’re doing is providing fuel for more wrong, more injustice, bringing more hurt to the people of your own spiritual family.
Read the original article here.