Hollywood couple Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith are sinking over $1 million dollars into a private school that that will offer healthy organic meals, laptops for students, and learning based on “equity” and “respect” to create “citizens of the world.” But are parents being told of this schools ties to the Church of Scientology?
The school, called the New Village Academy will be using some of the same teaching methodology used within the Church of Scientology and has people from the church hired to put this into action.
Will Smith and Jada have home-schooled their children but have spoken about wanting to open a school where their children, Jaden, 9, and Willow, 7, can receive an education that contains their belief system.
Although they are not disclosing this information openly, Will Smith and Jada are paying for the pre-kindergarten through sixth grade school in Calabasas, Calif., and they have the group of Scientologists, including the Director of Learning, Director of Qualifications and Artistic Director, heading up the program.
The executive director of the California Association of Private School Organizations, Ron Reynolds, stated that it’s not the Scientology teaching methods but the school’s non-disclosure about it’s religious affiliation. Ron Reynolds said, “School should be forthright about its purposes. And if it’s a religious school, I don’t see why it wouldn’t wish to announce its religious affiliation loud and clear,” Reynolds said.
While the affiliation with Scientology is not made apparent, in the glossary of educational theories, it lists “study technology,” an “educational model developed by L.R. Hubbard.” L. Ron Hubbard is the founder of the Church of Scientology.
There has been speculation that Will Smith was affiliated with Scientology, but he has never stated that fact in public. During an interview with Access Hollywood, Smith said, Smith spoke about Scientology: “I was introduced [to] it by Tom [Cruise] , and I’m a student of world religion. I was raised in a Baptist household, I went to a Catholic school, but the ideas of the Bible are 98 percent the same ideas of Scientology, 98 percent the same ideas of Hinduism and Buddhism.”
Smith’s represenatives and the New Village Academy have had no response regarding their Scientology ties.