Bel-Aire Baptist Preschool closing after staff resigns, parents left seeking answers
GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - Parents of students enrolled at Bel-Aire Baptist Preschool gathered outside the building Thursday morning. They are upset about recent news that the school is shutting down on October 9th because the entire preschool staff resigned.
In a letter sent out to parents, Bel-Aire Baptist Church pastor Brian Cameron claimed that an employee of the preschool proclaimed views and beliefs that were not consistent with the beliefs of the church, and during an inquiry, that employee resigned. The letter goes on to say that, shortly after, the entire preschool staff resigned.
Now, the school is set to close permanently on October 9th.
“I was in tears,” said preschool parent Jennifer Hadden. “I don’t think it is the teacher’s fault. I stand behind them 100% because I don’t think they did it out of malice. I think they’re doing it because they were backed into a corner.”
“It was devastating,” said another preschool parent, Anna Casler. “When we were broken the news, I couldn’t even pinpoint a teacher that this could be about because everyone here is so amazing. Truly, they are the best people.”
Many of the parents that WLOX spoke to said they are not happy with how the church is handling the situation and they want clarification on what caused an entire preschool staff to resign.
“There are so many answers we are not getting,” said Courtney Leger, a parent of a preschooler. “Who has five people resign out of nowhere for no reason? There is something behind this. These teachers have integrity to stand up for what they believe in and their coworker. These are the ladies I want teaching my kids.”
The statement released by the church reads as follows:
WLOX reached out to the pastor of the church for comment. He refused an on-camera interview and said the letter parents received is the church’s only statement.
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