Monday, October 6, 2008


Journal Gazette, The (Fort Wayne, IN) - September 23, 1992
Accreditation unneeded Hephzibah House is not accredited by the Indiana Department of
Education, and state law doesn't require any school to seek
accreditation, said George Stone, director of performance-based
accreditation at the Department of Education. He said he has no idea how many unaccredited schools exist in Indiana. ``Since there is no requirement that schools be accredited, you can put out a shingle and start a school,'' he said. Public schools may refuse to accept credits
from unaccredited schools, and parents have little recourse to appeal. The state's administrative code requires inspection and licensing for
treatment programs. There are several exemptions, though, including
facilities whose treatment programs are voluntary programs or are
secondary to the facility's main purpose _ such as a school. The State
Board of Health has no record of Hephzibah, according to spokeswoman
Mary Ann Cox. If there were reports of child abuse, the Institutional
Child Abuse Unit of the state Department of Public Welfare would
investigate, said Tim Elliott, supervisor of the unit. Elliott said he
couldn't reveal whether the Hephzibah House had been investigated. All
records are confidential according to Indiana law, he said. When the
school first started in 1971, a representative of the state Department
of Public Welfare suggested that the school be licensed, said the Rev.
Ronald E. Williams, Hephzibah's leader. After checking out that
possibility, he decided against it. ``As I looked into that, I learned
that it would entail being involved with people who have philosophies
with which we violently disagree,'' he said. ``Our staff people, for
instance, would have to be trained in ways that we don't agree with. We
want a person who is highly trained in Scripture, not someone who has a
humanistic approach that is antagonistic to our faith.''