Children’s activity center owner threatened, cut off for using the word “God” on website
The owner of the Be With Me, The Children’s Playseum in Bethesda, Md. was told recently that no Montgomery public school would send children to her facility because her website mentioned the words “God,” “life,” and “family,” according to The Washington Post.
From her website:
LIFE-Every child is God’s gift to this earth.
FAMILY-The most vital part of our community. We treasure the opportunity to offer you a place to create family moments and memories while using our proceeds to help a family far away.
GOD-Giver of breathe and we endeavor to honor Him in all of our affairs.”
Be With Me, The Children’s Playseum is an indoor space that mixes creative play and education.
Geina Seebachan, owner of the children’s activity center, was told however that if she edited her website, schools would send children to the playseum.
Sean Bulson, an acting community superintendent for the county system, said he was “not aware” of any countywide decision about the playseum. He did say that many parents expressed discomfort with their children going to the facility, The Washington Post reported.
The issue came to Seebachan’s attention when Westbrook Elementary School canceled a scheduled trip to the center.
All four of Seebachan’s children had attended Westbrook Elementary School.
However, according to Seebachan, Jeff Ewald, principle, told her that parents expressed concern that the Playseum was overtly or covertly religious, The Washington Post said.
Seebachan, an evangelical Christian, has among her teaching staff one from Peru, one from Sri Lanka, one vegan, one kosher Jew, a fellow from Trinidad and a woman from Congo, according to The Washington Post.
According to the play calendar on their website, there will be activities to celebrate Jerusalem Day, Waisak Day in Indonesia, Corpus Christi in Chile, and Memorial Day in the United States.
Seebachan, who studied international relations in college, also has activities at Pthe activity center that celebrate Thai and Shinto holidays, the prophet Muhammad’s birthday, Chinese New Year and Jewish holidays.
But on her Web site, she also advertises a Christian youth group she runs, according to the Washington Post.
Seebachan had experience in leading after school clubs and daycamps, has taught in China, and lived and visited over 22 nations. The playseum’s on-hands activities are diverse, sensitive in spirit and reflect what she has gained from her travels, according to their website.
However now the Be With Me Playseum is being sabotaged through a whisper campaign and Seebachan has been receiving threats.
Anonymous Web postings saying Seebachan handed out antiabortion literature at the Playseum, accepts support from right-wing Christian groups and plays Christian rock music at the play space, according to The Washington Post.
One anonymous post from someone who claimed to be Jewish said that Seebachan told her that unless she accepted Jesus as her personal savior, the client and her children would go to hell, The Washington Post reported.
Seebachan said she has no literature about abortion, her sponsors are all secular, including Safeway and Strosniders hardware store, and if she knew anyone of her staff who told a client that she and her family might go to hell, she would fire them on the spot, according to The Washington Post.
“I’m not marketing to Christians,” Seebachan says. “I imagined this place like a big, refreshing swimming pool for anybody to come to and be together with their children in a different way, without computers, TVs or cellphones,” Seebachan told The Washington Post.