Two programs about online safety and mental health were canceled at R-BB schools after complaints that the programs’ parent organization was religious in nature.
The “Get Schooled” program for Richland-Bean Blossom Community School Corp. students and “Technology and Teens” program for parents are put on through Fort Wayne-based RemedyLIVE, a SoulMedic Media Group company. SoulMedic Media identifies itself and RemedyLIVE as Christian organizations.
“We learned that Get Schooled was an interactive and entertaining convocation for Grades 6-12 designed to provide mental health support for students,” R-BB Superintendent Jerry Sanders wrote in an email to parents on Saturday. “The purpose of the program was to help students learn that they are not alone in their struggles and to provide information on sources of support available in our own schools and community.”
The “Technology and Teens” program was meant to “make parents aware of the dangers of social media,” he added.
Sanders canceled the programming, which was scheduled to take place at the end of March, after community members called the district with concerns. School board President Dana Kerr said that to his knowledge, no contract had been signed and no money had changed hands.
“It just wasn’t a good fit for this and we’re continuing to look at other avenues to look at mental health issues and social media issues,” Kerr said.
Sanders said he had checked with other schools and districts that had invited the “Get Schooled” programs for their students and was told the program had no religious content.
But the nature of RemedyLIVE and SoulMedic Media caused concern for some community members.