Taking "that" out of this sentence -- I can't! But why?

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I teach a high level English class for working adults.  Most of our classes are lifeskills/needs based and we spend little time on grammar.  (And...it's not my strongest area.)  Yesterday, when studying business vocabulary I made up this sentence:

 

There are principles that guide the company.

 

One student, whose reading/writing levels are very high but struggles more in conversation, was insistant I take out "that."  I told her I couldn't, but could create additional sentences that would elimate "that":

There are certain principles guiding the company.

Certain principles guide the company.

Principles guide the company.

 

But, my orginial sentence needs "that".  It just sounds correct.  

 

I've searched online for answers to this questions--I think it has to do with sentence structure, but I can't reallly find anything.  I may just have to go with creating a poorly thought-out sentence with bad structure, but I'd love to give her a better answer!  

Anyone?

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