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Help for Christians in Public Schools

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Monday, July 29, 2019 @ 12:00 PM
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Wesley Wildmon Vice-President Outreach MORE

There is plenty of Christian content promoting homeschool education.  However, there is little (if any) that promotes public education (for some good reasons). While homeschooling is a wonderful idea for many Christians, it is not for everyone. As far as the Bible is concerned there is no one "right" way to educate children. As long as we still have Christians serving in public schools and Christians kids attending public schools we need to help disciple them through their choice of education. Here are a few discipleship nuggets teachers, parents, and students can take with them to their public school. 

Christian educators should carefully and faithfully wield their influence. 

Christian educators in the public school system should learn their own religious freedom rights and practice them.  That also means being ready to defend them when necessary. It is vital for Christian educators to stay involved in the public school system, from administration to teaching, to parental meetings, etc. 

While Christian educators are individual citizens and agents of the state they do not lose their First Amendment protections, but how they apply to them is somewhat unique. Alliance Defending Freedom has listed your rights here

Christian educators can engage in religious activities outside of non-instructional time. For example, teachers can: form after-school Bible study groups, participate in prayer groups with other adults, and distribute literature to other adults for non-curricular activities on the same terms as all other events and activities. 

Christian educators can also provide instruction related to religion as part of the curriculum. For example, teachers can: use religious information in an objective manner. They can also teach the Bible for its historical, cultural, or literary value. 

They can also have some involvement in religious clubs. For example, teachers can: allow students and athletes to lead prayer (but can't lead it themselves), exchange religious ideas or even have prayer meetings with one another, provided students are not present, and can act as a faculty sponsor if all activities are led by students and the teacher or coach is only there to supervise. 

Christian parents should determine if the school has embraced and/or promotes progressivism. 

Christian parents should be intentional about meeting the school principals and teachers while also being familiarized with the content being taught. They should be involved in school activities, volunteer, and consider running for the school board. Christian parents must be prepared and willing to stand in the gap for Christ and righteousness sake. 

If through much prayer a Christian parent concludes that public school is right for your children, then know God has placed you there as a witness. Know your legal rights. Be prepared and willing to stand in the gap as you will have many opportunities to share and live out the gospel that you wouldn’t have otherwise. However, in your efforts in searching for a public school, be aware of whether or not the school philosophy is a reflection of progressive principles. 

The Bible tells us that children are a gift from the Lord, specially created for His glory and the good of others (Psalm 127:3-5). Ultimately, it is the parents’ or guardians’ responsibility to teach them right from wrong. It is a command from God that Christian parents teach their children the Word of God from a young age, showing them how to incorporate it into their daily lives, trusting continually in God (Deuteronomy 6:7-9). Training our kids to be Christ-followers and to stand for truth must be intentional. It is more important than any academic training and it doesn't happen by accident. 

Christian students must stand in the gap for Christ and the truths of God’s Word. 

Some public schools can be spiritual battlegrounds for our children more so than others. Depending on the school and location they may be overwhelmed with anti-Christian doctrine, moral relativism, and secular humanistic theories. Some may find themselves stuck in this situation. Christian students must learn and know their rights. This is one of many reasons it is imperative for our children to be well-versed in biblical truth so they will easily recognize the falsehoods and contradictions of progressivism.  Your Christian student may very well be used by God to counter the enemy’s lies. There are countless stories of God using teachers, parents, and students to stand in the gap while attending public school. 

Lastly, there are very few things we can do in this world that are more important than praying for our children daily and raising them to have hearts that love and desire to serve the Lord. Ultimately, every parent is going to have to answer to God for how they raise and educate their children. Every family needs to prayerfully consider which method of education is right for them and trust God with the results. If you decide on public education for your kids or you currently serve in public education please remember the three things I mentioned above. Christian administrators, teachers, and coaches can be influential in the public school setting.  They have constitutional rights and protections too.  Parents, determine if the school is progressive or not. And finally, Christian students stand in the gap for Christ and the truths of God’s Word. 

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