A private school can do everything right, but all it takes is some strong-willed kid to ruin a school's name for others. As a parent, I want my own kids to become successful and accountable. I want them to have duty to God and country. I also know that they are constant ambassadors for our private school. When people ask where our kids go to school, I am proud to tell them, since I know my kids have presented themselves in an appropriate manner. However, not all children do this, even at the best schools, and it certainly does not always continue through adulthood.
Case in point, my car was hit by a local college kid (Bayley Judah) who I know attended a local, private high school (Bishop Kenny). It's a local school we've been considering, but at nearly $12,000 a year, it better be a good education. One that includes ethics and morals. When this college kid stiffed me on paying his debt for hitting my car, after I had agreed to let him off easy by not involving the police or insurance, I felt like his high school education must not have included the values that I hold as important, like honesty.
I am sure that Bishop Kenny is a decent school, and it's not fair to judge a school by one person's actions. However, when you're new to town and only meet one person who attended that school, those actions and that person dictate what you think. As a parent of two private school students, I always stress the importance of them acting appropriately in order to demonstrate for others why we send them to the school in the first place. But if all your parents aren't doing this, and if all your students aren't promoting your school in a positive way around town, then your $12,000 a year school might as well be a public school. In fact, I went to a public high school in Milwaukee, and plenty of the guys I knew would have given me the shirt off their backs to pay their debts. They weren't rich, but they knew that being honest was important, and most of them have become successful. More importantly, they have become good citizens. If $12,000 a year can't guarantee this, then no thanks.