by Neil Anderson, Head of School
Trinity Classical School is counter-cultural by its very nature. Education, culturally speaking, is a system implemented to keep children occupied during the week (while mom and dad work) with academic routines that will ultimately give them the skills they need to work themselves, while their children go to school. Our motto this year “Non scholae sed vitae discimus – we do not learn for school, but for life,” was chosen because it expresses our desire to view education as our life calling, our worship. We’ve re-envisioned how we do “school” based on the refusal to treat education as the broader culture does.
This vision for school will end up affecting many of the little things we do. Nothing in our school will be done just because “that’s what you do in school.” It will only be done if it makes sense in light of our mission to help students grow in wisdom and apply knowledge in the light of God’s truth.
Our most recent cultural norm to go through this filter is Valentine’s Day. Now, to be clear, there is nothing wrong with Valentine’s day. I love Valentine’s Day. I view myself as a romantic and I hope my wife would agree. But celebrating Valentine’s Day with my wife and facilitating a Valentine’s Day celebration for 50 children are two very different things.
“Saint” Valentine’s Day was at one time associated with several of the martyred saints of ancient Rome, but in middle ages, transitioned into a day of celebrating intimate love. And that is what it is today–a day to celebrate romantic love.
Our students have much to learn about love in the context of their education. They don’t, however, have much to celebrate about romantic love yet. It seems that passing out Valentines, the children’s version of love notes, and candy hearts that say “be mine” would only confuse the difficult times we have ahead of discipling our children in Biblical romantic love. Surely we could play along and have a day of celebrating friendships, and that would be fine, but when it comes to cultural traditions like Valentines Day, Santa Claus, and the Easter Bunny, we would rather have parents discern how they will treat these within their own families.
On February 14 everyone will know it’s Valentine’s Day. Some teachers will be facilitating Valentine’s Day oriented activities and I’m sure one of our young romantics will sneak a valentine exchange. However, as a school, we will not be making time for Valentine’s Day parties, hoping that our intentional decision will bless our children.
School Valentine’s parties are just one of the many things that won’t pass through the filter for our school. Not because there is anything wrong with them, more because there doesn’t seem to be much right with them for our children. Our on-campus school days are few and we hope to be as intentional with them as possible. We don’t assume that everyone will be exactly on the same page with us on each one of these decisions. We simply hope that TCS families trust that all the little decisions we make are done thoughtfully, prayerfully, and with God’s glory and our children’s joy in mind.