When I told a friend about Tolerance in the Religious Zionist Community (be sure to click on the comments), she argued that it was “chutzpah” for parents to send their children to yeshiva tichonit and then host a bar mitzvah with mixed dancing. She maintained that mixed dancing is on the fringe of Orthodox social behavior. I don’t know that she’s correct, especially regarding sephardi circles. But I do believe that sending to a school with significantly different religious standards than the home can cause conflict in the children, and this choice can ultimately backfire. This is true whether the school’s standards are higher or lower than the home’s, but parents only seem interested in schools that are “frummer.” It’s like they want to make up for what they are lacking.
Anyway, let’s say such parents do want a school with a strict religious standard or a high level of Jewish studies. Does the school try to accommodate them? They could set guidelines for the parents upon admission (i.e. cover hair at school pickup, no mixed dancing at the bar mitzvah) or accept them without qualification. Or do they send parents away, in order to keep the student population homogeneous? Schools choosing the latter option seem to get a higher level of applicants, at least outside of Jerusalem.