Columbus Christian School launched several marketing strategies last year to increase enrollment this fall, including yard signs, car window decals and media advertisements.

But enrollment at the private school on Indiana Avenue serving preschoolers through high school seniors was the beneficiary of a late surge just before school started by something entirely out of its control.

After the Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp. school board added gender identity to its list of protected classes in its anti-discrimination policy in late May, with discussion continuing all summer, some local parents began to express concerns about the policy opening the door for predators to claim to be transgender only to gain access to the restroom of the opposite sex and assault students in the restrooms.

Although the BCSC policy does not address the use of restroom or locker room facilities, some of the parents said they planned to pull their children out of the public school district as a safety precaution. In some situations, parents chose to enroll their students at Columbus Christian, principal Kendall Wildey said.

Fall enrollment at Columbus Christian is 222, which is 31 more students than it ended the previous school year with. That’s an increase of 16 percent.

Columbus Christian’s enrollment gains include three new seniors this fall among its 59 high school students, Wildey said.

For more on this story, see Tuesday’s Republic.

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Olivia Covington is a reporter for The Republic. She can be reached at or 812-379-5712.