It’s the first day of grade one for my six year old son Austin today, and with it comes a mix of emotions. Not just for Austin who is likely feeling a little anxious and nervous along with some excitement, but also for me, his dad who is feeling sad that our summer bonding time is over and happy at the same time because well, let’s be honest he was getting a little spoiled with all the summer fun and if school provides nothing else they do provide some much needed structure.
School does provide more than structure though, Austin has done really well during kindergarten and has learned a lot. And, since today is the first day back and I have a few quiet moments to reflect I thought I would touch on the whole ‘evils of public school’ thing that many Christian parents worry about.
For the record, I know people who do the homeschooling thing, I know people who do the private school thing and I think that both those approaches are great! If that is what you and your family concluded was the best thing for you and your family then I support it one hundred percent.
For me and my family we decided that public school was what is best. We didn’t get there on just a whim either, we had many lengthy conversations before we got there. Of course the biggest areas of concern are what is being taught and how it will come into conflict with our Christian beliefs. For years the number one concern Christian parents had was how the theory of evolution was being taught as truth and not just a theory. Now though and I think I can speak for many parents on this one, it’s the evolution of sex-ed.
Sexual education has become the elephant in the room, but this elephant everyone wants to talk about and nobody can agree how to properly approach the subject of sex when it comes to our kids.
Sex-ed is no longer just a puberty class on what is going to happen to their bodies, it has become so political that it now includes the entire spectrum of sexuality, gender identity, and even touches on what the political left calls ‘choice’.
To top it off many school boards now demand that these teachings happen at a younger age than ever before. It is that tragic combination of anti biblical teaching and at such a young age that has caused many Christian parents to leave the public school system for good and try another approach, and quite frankly I don’t blame them. The question then arises of why am I still sending my kids to public school.
Do you remember back in the nineties when evangelical churches all came together and started a movement called ‘WWJD’? What Would Jesus Do? It was printed on bracelets, hats, shirts and almost anything else that could be printed on, and the idea was that for the Christian who wore it they could see those four letters and be reminded of what Jesus would do in any situation that they found themselves in.
So to answer the question of why my kids still attend public school, it’s simply that. I believe that Jesus wouldn’t try to avoid secular teaching, I believe He would walk up right in the midst of it and take every opportunity He had to convince people to turn from false teachings and follow Him! In fact that’s exactly what He did, the woman at the well for example, Jews were never supposed to be seen anywhere near Samaria and yet Jesus was seen conversing with an adulterous Samaritan woman.
Public schools provide the greatest multicultural experiences one could ask for. Not just cultures either, the silver lining in the new sex-ed is that all kids will come to school, including those who were previously too embarrassed, kids who are gay, kids who identify as the opposite sex, and kids who have never heard the name of Jesus!
Sending my kids to public school means they will interact every single day with people who are different, with people who look different, see the world different, and think differently than my son does. For some, all of these differences are threatening, but the way I see it is that each and every single person that is different than my son is an opportunity for him to share what he believes and where he comes from and who he thinks God is. And let’s not forget that although many of the kids going to public school today do not know who Jesus is, that doesn’t mean that God doesn’t love them.
If God loves them then aren’t we also to love them? Differences aside, it is our responsibility to love our neighbors AND our enemies. There is no exception clause in the Bible that says we can get away with not loving certain people.
For at least the time being my children will attend public school, that doesn’t mean that public school is the best approach for everyone, nor does it mean that I think that public school is superior to other methods, it just means that I feel that it is the best option for me and my family.
Isn’t it great that we live in a country where we have these options and it’s still up to parents to decide? Despite the fact that secular society intends to teach things that contradict the Bible, I can’t think of a better way to learn the Bible than when kids come home and ask questions based on what their school mates said! That means we can learn the answers together and I for one intend to do just that.
Just my thoughts, thank you so much for reading.