LANDRUM, South Carolina — A Christian school that came under fire earlier this year over a science quiz that was crafted from a Biblical worldview has closed its doors after failing to reach its financial goals to stay open.
As previously reported, Blue Ridge Christian Academy (BRCA), a small private school nestled in the mountains of northern South Carolina, administered a simple science quiz this past spring to its Fourth Grade class. The class, according to BRCA’s website, was only attended by 15 students during the 2012-2013 semester.
However, the relatively small classroom gained giant exposure after a picture of the science quiz posted on the image-sharing site Imgur went viral, generating over 900,000 views. Among other items, the quiz contained the following true-or-false questions, all pertaining to the history of the world:
- The earth is billions of years old. (Correct answer = “false”)
- Dinosaurs lived millions of years ago. (Correct answer = “false”)
- Dinosaurs lived with people. (Correct answer = “true”)
The photo of the quiz was allegedly uploaded by a friend of a BRCA student’s father. According to an interview published by Snopes, the girl’s father had planned to pull her from the school next semester, due to his disappointment in the “young-earth” scientific viewpoint being taught at the school.
However, not only was the picture of the science quiz been widely circulated, but hundreds sided with the girl’s father via blogs and online comments, expressing their concern and even outrage regarding BRCA’s science curriculum. On the popular bookmark site Reddit, one commenter wrote, “This isn’t just non-science; this is Creationism apologetics. … It’s just very, very sad.” Another bluntly stated, “This should be criminal.”
However, many Christian apologists and scientists came out in strong support of BRCA, a school that had been struggling with debt and various financial challenges. Most notably among supporters was Answers in Genesis, the largest Christian apologetics ministry in the world. Ken Ham and Mark Looy, co-founders of Answers in Genesis, stated in a blog post that they were “highly impressed” by how the BRCA staff had been coping with the controversy.
“We want to help this school be a good example to the entire Christian community of how all believers should defend our faith,” the men wrote. “We ask you to contact the academy through its website and offer your words of support—and also send it a donation as another means of encouragement.”
Immediately, donations from $1 to $1,000 began pouring in from across the country and around the world. While school officials were appreciative and cautiously optimistic, they noted that the academy still had a long way to go in terms of financial support to keep the doors open.
In the end, the support received wasn’t enough to enable the school to keep going. BCRA states that it was only able to raise $15,000 out of the $200,000 needed to stay open.
“BRCA will not be open for the 2013-2014 school year,” the school recently wrote on its website. “The Board is researching options for future funding and re-organization.”
The academy held a sale last month to sell off a number of books and student supplies. Officials state that funds raised will be used to pay off debt.