Despite employing teachers who are members of the Church of Scientology and using teaching methods developed by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, administrators at Will Smith’s new private school insist that it isn’t a Scientology school.
Both Mr. Smith and Jada Pinckett Smith say they do not belong to the church and the New Village School’s director, Jacqueline Olivier, told The Los Angeles Times‘ Carla Rivera that while some of its staff members are Scientologists, the school has no religious affiliation. Members of its staff are also Muslim, Christian, and Jewish.
“We are a secular school and just like all nonreligious independent schools, faculty and staff do not promote their own religions at school or pass on the beliefs of their particular faith to children,” she said. “People tend to think study technology is a subject, but it is really just the way the subject is taught. They then come to the conclusion that we are teaching Scientology when actually a methodology doesn’t have anything to do with content.”
When the school opens on September 3rd, it will teach traditional subjects like literacy, math, and Spanish, as well as living skills, karate, yoga, robotics, technology, and etiquette. Limited access to television and sugary foods will be encouraged for students.