Fearocracy

In the time I have spent in this ministry I have found that fear dominates staff, faculty, and student. It is neigh to impossible to get an honest opinion about anything that a person might disagree with about the school. Why is this so? Is it because they do not believe that they are right? I should hope not. Is it because they fear spreading a bad attitude? Not usually. Is it because they are evil Bob Jones spies bent on destroying this college, and they don’t want to be caught until their wicked scheme of obliteration comes to fruition? Most unlikely. It is because they fear for their jobs, or college careers. The idea presented by one of the readers that a student should be able to go to the administration and discuss some disagreement is good in theory, but not in fact, at PCC. If someone were to attempt it, they would most likely not be kicked out/fired right away, but they would win much disfavor with the administration. They would be labeled as a dissenter. The opinion of the individual was important to Christ. Why is it so disdained here?

It saddens me greatly to see the damage done to those young students who come here to learn about, and love Christ, yet are ridiculed and mistrusted by their “leaders.” The damage done to their Christian lives is incalculable. I try to do what I can of “damage control,” but sometimes nothing can be done. Some rebel, others get depressed, many fall by the wayside. Why? Because they were wicked people? Some perhaps, but not all. They fall because they expect this Christian organization to be full of learning, and loving, and yet they find that even the administration, the ones who should be the leaders and therefore more mature, have a harsh, and unloving spirit that is hardly Christian. Even if a student rebels he should be loved as a Christian brother, not disdained as if he has no value. Yes, maybe he will have to be kicked out, but love him anyway. Is this not the teaching of Christ? It is sad to see that even those who keep a good attitude towards the “ministry,” but choose to continue believing differently
are treated as outcasts.

I mentioned before that fear is dominant. Fear should be dominant among those who wish only to disobey, but what of those that want to simply be right? What of those that sincerely, and with full conscience disagree with the school in an area? Should they fear? Is the purpose of authority to make good men fear trying to make the system better? or others better? or themselves better? Why is PCC authority causing this reaction among good God-fearing people? It seems to me that the school is attempting to get the people to fear the administration as they (the people) would God. They fear
disagreeing with the college at all. Who other than God should someone fear disagreeing with even when that person has a good attitude?

The administration always has said that people should obey authority no matter what kind of attitude the authority has, but shouldn’t a Christian authority be able to take correction even from someone with a bad attitude? Yes, it may be authority’s need to put that attitude “in it’s place,” but
does that mean you should not listen to them at all? Does that somehow negate the ideas behind his arguments? I see no reason that this should be so. It seems to me that the administration is asking their students to be more mature than they themselves are willing to be.

Some Words From a Long-Time Christian and Public School Teacher

I must say that reading the student voice brings back memories, many not so good. I was a student in the “old days” and I see that not much has changed. When I came to PCC there were only two buildings and we had all our classes in the elementary and high school buildings. We had to cross the tracks every day for lunch, dinner, church, and classes. Many times a train caused us to be late. That has all changed, but apparently, many things are still the same.

I have been a teacher for 17 years now and at least in my opinion a successful one. The first eight years were spent teaching in a Christian School and the last nine in a college prep public high school.

I still remember vividly, especially since StudentV has reminded me, of such unnatural and ridiculous concepts as 1. being socialed, 2. the dating parlor, 3. the no touch rule, 4. never being allowed to question authority, 5. the demerit system, 6. 10:30 lights out, 7. the dress code, 8. the whole D.C. situation……..I could go on and on! I am almost 40 now and I still can’t get over how I was treated when I was 20. I have a son in the tenth grade who is starting to consider his college options and I cannot in good conscience recommend PCC.

If I was so unhappy there, why did I stay? Well, once you have invested a year into a place, it is difficult to transfer without losing ground. I went to PCC, yes because I believe the Lord led me there, and because of its emerging reputation of training teachers. I have to admit that in some respects, I was much better prepared for teaching than many of my colleagues starting out. However, my philosophy has changed over the years. I am now proud to be a Christian serving in the public schools. I might add that I met my wife there and we look back on our dating life at PCC and consider it most unusual. It is truly a miracle that we conceived our lasting relationship under such (what now seem unthinkable) circumstances.

PCC seems to be in the business of hiring robot teachers that train robot students, or at least that is what it appears they are trying to do. I would like to see a study of the turnover in faculty at PCC. What many students may not realize is that faculty are not treated with much more respect than the students. I have known many, many to go to PCC to teach for a few years and then move on.

What Dr. Horton has established in Pensacola is much like a commune. A core of long standing teachers and administrators (not many) have been brainwashed, in my opinion, into believing that this is all of God and
functions as the almighty “MINISTRY”. When anyone questions the authority, be it student or faculty member, they are dealt with immediately and severely. I marvel that this has all continued now 22 years (much longer if you include the K – 12 school). Is this because God has raised up this Ministry….? I won’t touch that one.

I admonish studentV for its courage. It is finally possible to speak out without fear of reprisal [this, unfortunately, is not entirely true anymore – eds.] – although I am sure every effort is being made. College students need to be questioning authority and be allowed to speak their minds. They need to be able to make mistakes and learn from them, regardless of what may happen to the “Mininstry’s” reputation. As a parent of three, I am learning to give more and more freedom to my children as they get older, along with more responsibility. To send them to PCC and take away their freedom is not what I can encourage in good conscience. I was a witness to many a student that when crushed by the almighty power of the student handbook (and its inhumane enforcement) rebelled in a way that they would not have otherwise. Hasn’t Dr. Horton learned in all these years that severe restriction and unnecessary rules are counterproductive? I guess not! I might also dare to suggest that Mrs. Horton may be even more responsible than Dr. Horton. Of course we will all answer some day and that includes myself and the Hortons.

I live in the “real world” with all its problems, not in a make believe world of PCC. I must say it has many resemblances to extreme teachings of other groups I will not mention here. I submit that Christians need to take a part in public institutions and not withdraw into their own private worlds. I am reminded of Jesus and the many times he dealt with the individual person and not the letter of the Old Testament law. I don’t think it is too far a stretch to compare PCC with the Pharisees and other groups in the Bible and in history that have been caught up in legalism.

I know this must all sound like sour grapes, but I am not bitter against PCC for the years I spent there. I earned a degree at PCC. I believe I have had an impact on my students for many years and I am very involved in my Church. My children go to the public schools and I support them and have become involved in their education. It is my belief that nothing will change at PCC until Dr. Horton leaves (he has no
children to pass the baton to like Bob Jones). This is not to be hateful at all, but I am simply stating what I think is a fact. Thank you for letting me share some of my opinions.

Have You Heard The One About…The Clueless Freshman?

There are so many things that I could tell you about my personal experiences with PCC. Here is one from my undergraduate days.

I was a junior and had three freshman roommates. One came a day late, his name was —-. He walked in with absolutely no idea of what was about to happen. In talking with him, he had no ties or sport coats – seems that no one ever told him of some of the finer points of PCC life. He adjusted well enough to get the year started right. On the first weekend, I volunteered to take him around town and show him where K-Mart, McDonalds and other stores were so he could function without having to buy the high priced merchandise in the campus store.

When we were in the car, I noticed him continually spitting into a coke can. I tactfully informed him that dipping was not looked upon as aproper behavior of a student. We agreed that he wouldn’t do it anymore – or at least not around anyone else. Weeks went by and we did not get along at all. The rules really turned —- the wrong way and he really had a rotten attitude. One Saturday before hall meeting as I was sitting in my room I noticed that it was 10:25 and —- hadn’t been seen for a while. My roommates and I went through hall meeting knowing something was going on. I went to my floor leader and mentioned that —- hadn’t showed up or been seen for most of the night. He informed me that —- and another student were arrested for drunk driving and underage drinking.

A few days went by andthe inevitable happened – I got a call slip. I knew that as APL this was going to be very interesting. I went and talked to Dean —- where I was asked about —-‘s life in the room. I informed them that we really didn’t like each other because he always fought me for making him do his room job, etc. Then it got interesting. Dean —- said he had a few questions.

How many times have you gone off campus with —-?
How many times did you go play pool with —-?
Do you drink alcohol?
Were you aware that —- was off campus drinking?
How many times did you do drugs with —-?
How many times did you go drinking with —-?
How many times did you get a prostitute with —-?

The questions continued. After categorically denying all of these outrageous questions – then came the next. How long have you known about —- dipping? After I answered, all of the other questions were repeated once again. I was then told that I also was up for expulsion because I “knew” information that I should have passed on to the PCC “police”. I flat out told Dean —- that he could go ahead a kick me out because if that was a good enough reason, I didn’t want to be there then anyway. Eventually I was blamed because a student who had no idea of what PCC was like and definitely should not have been a student in the first place got in trouble that it was all my fault. I got 75 demerits for being an improper APL and was campused for 2 weeks.

This happened right before Thanksgiving. My parents were just arriving for a visit. But I still got campused.

Now just a few comments:
1) Why didn’t this student have a copy of the rule book before coming to PCC?
2) Why do the deans constantly take the word of someone who is about ready to be expelled? so they can get some more students in trouble?
3) What is being an improper APL? By not turning him in at the beginning of the semester and telling him not to do it anymore and then not having any further knowledge of his dipping, I thought that I made the right decision by not turning him in. Of course, I was only 21 years and who am I to make a decision —.
4) How about all of those questions? A prostitute? GIVE ME A BREAK!!!! I hope that Dr. Horton reads this because maybe this will give him an idea of the CRAP that goes on in the dean’s offices. Up until this point in my PCC career, I honestly think that I had fewer than 50 demerits for infractions like room jobs, punching a pass in late, etc. A PROSTITUTE? Never!

I guess PCC has substituted the second great commandment – Love thy neighbor as thyself – to: Love PCC with all thy heart, soul, and mind. . .and don’t even think about helping out someone else unless you get our permission. Anyway, to respond to your questions,

1.) We believe PCC does now send out copies of the Student Handbook to future students, but that handbook is extremely vague and entirely incomplete, as you will see when we publish our Rules Compilation
2.) That’s what we would like to know. This gets back to our essay on the Discipline Committee [Issue 1, No. 2] and the ideas we suggested to alleviate this problem to a great extent. To our knowledge, they have been ignored. We, too, would like to know the answer to this question.
3.) Your guess is as good as ours – we think is whatever the administration wants it to mean to fit whatever purpose they have in mind at any given time. Vague? You bet. – eds.

A Time For Change

There seems to be a great debate in The Student Voice about motives and change. This is not what The Voice should be about. Life’s decisions are all about right, and wrong. Whether or not change occurs because of The Voice is up to God (and I certainly hope change does occur, for it is needed). The question is “Should you agree or disagree with the issues presented in The Voice?” Is the school right or wrong about what they are doing? I would like to deal further with the motives issue.

1. You cannot judge my motives or those of the editors. It is impossible, so why try? What you can judge is the validity of our arguments. Let me illustrate it this way. Is stealing wrong simply because your pastor says so? What if Hitler said so? Is it any less of a truth because of the character of the person saying it? What if someone said it, not to spread a Biblical truth out of love, but to make sure you didn’t steal from him? Is it any less valid? What if he said it with a bad attitude? The point I’m trying to make is that if someone said that stealing is wrong, yet he was a thief, or he said it with a bad attitude, or he had the wrong motives, it still would be truth. Let us say that Adolf Hitler gave a lecture on why Christ was God, and he gave all the right reasons. He doesn’t have a good character, and most likely would have a bad attitude and the wrong motives. Because of this I would scrutinize what he had to say more closely, but truth is truth, regardless of the character of the messenger or the attitude
and motive behind the message. The only good question is, “Are the facts and arguments correct?” and if they are correct, then “What will you do with the facts and arguments presented?” This is why I am glad that the editors decided to remain unknown. I can focus on the facts, and pray about what I should do about them.

2. The only things you or I or the editors can judge is what the Bible (and therefore God) judges. In my opinion, the editors have done nothing that is wrong. It is also my opinion that PCC HAS done things that are wrong (spreading legalism, being uncaring of fellow Christians, attempting to stop free speech and thought, and implementing an incorrect view of authority). I also would like to say that I do appreciate the editor’s “sharp” sarcastic style. It is not harsh enough to be cruel, yet it adds a “point” to the facts. It remarkably resembles the Apostle Paul’s style (no I don’t think it is inspired, nor do I believe the editors to be apostles or anything like that. It just happens to be the way Paul, under inspiration, handled problems with fellow Christians who seemed very much unwilling to listen).

I also would like to make a comment about the issue of the editors not making comments to the opposing opinions that are sent in and printed in The Voice. I DON’T LIKE IT. I do not consider myself to be extremely intelligent, logical, or an extremely gifted writer. I am, however, a thinker, and many times I see the faulty logic of a disagreement, but I just can’t seem to put my finger on the problem, or properly state what that problem is. I like the editor’s comments, because it saves me the time and energy of finding the fault. I usually come to the same conclusions as the editors, but it takes me longer. Also, it makes me have to deal with the facts. I have no holes where I can ease my conscience. The editor’s excellent logic in their refutations cause me to be able to focus mainly on what I will do about the truth, instead of focusing on what the truth is.

It’s time for a change – time compare PCC to the truth.