Christians &The Public Schools.

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Coach C, Mar 4, 2007.

  1. Coach C

    Coach C
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    I am doing some research that I hope will contribute to a Doctoral Thesis somewhere down the line. Your answers to these questions are greatly appreciated.

    1. What responsibilities does a Christian have if they are teaching in the state educational system? Where is the line, in your opinion, between Christian duty and the first amendment prohibition of separation of church and state?

    2. For Parents: What is the deciding factors for you as to whether you educate your children in public school setting or other placement (home school or Christian School)?

    3. What role do Christians have, in your opinion, in the public schools?

    I appreciate the time you give in answering these questions. I am interested in the way that Christians view these efforts. I am in the early phases of my investigation and felt this would be a good place to start.

    Respectfully,
    Mike. (Coach C)
     
  2. amity

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    1. What responsibilities does a Christian have if they are teaching in the state educational system? Where is the line, in your opinion, between Christian duty and the first amendment prohibition of separation of church and state?
    To accept Christianity. That means not to discourage Christian expression in any way. If the kids want to sing Christmas carols, sing along. If a child asks what baptism means (as one did when I was teaching an English class) give them a biblically accurate explanation. This also means allowing all other forms of spirituality a child may have, too, and to try to answer questions about other religions as accurately as possible as well, using the terms and concepts that adherents of those faiths would use so far as I know them. Also to answer questions about personal belief honestly. To pray for students and families and other teachers and administrators.

    3. What role do Christians have, in your opinion, in the public schools? Love everybody as a child of God and treat them with respect.
     
    #2 amity, Mar 4, 2007
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  3. Rufus_1611

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    All our words are recorded by the creator. If we are not teaching truth we will be held accountable for it, regardless of the need for a paycheck.
    The deciding factor for me is the public school system is antichrist and I desire not to sacrifice my children to Baal, Molech, god of self, or whatever other false god they're worshipping.
    The only role they should have is being active in shutting them down. Public schools are dumbing down and destroying the souls of our posterity and the state is outside of their Biblical domain in educating our children.
     
  4. preachinjesus

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    well, here's a fairly contrastive view to the above view ;)

    If someone is led to teach in the public school, teach with excellence. Be excellent in your discipline(s) which you teach and give a good testimony for God. They also have a responsibility to submit to the authorities over them.

    There is no separation in the First Amendment, there is a prohibition against a National Religion, a cogent difference. No that said there is a degree of submission to authorities that is explicitly taught in the New Testament. In other words, you don't have to be a jerk about your faith when teaching in the public sector.

    You teach within the confines of the curriculum you are given. Teach it faithfully and with a spirit of humility. Be honest, forthright, and respectful of your environs. In pursuing excellence you'll have plenty of opportunities to speak for Christ...and use words if you have to.

    Public schools for the kidos. No need for Christian schools unless they're a) free and b) excellent in their education.

    It is our intention to supplement our children's classroom education with proper theological and social teaching in our home...so maybe that is an aspect of home schooling.

    One of presence and active conscience where applicable...but not jerks about their faith. Be there, be present, be overwhlemingly supportive, but not obtrusive. Our teachers and administrators don't need to beration over policy issues they have no control over...but steadfast support and private prayers. Our families should be present as much as possible, and certainly more than your average parent. Presence is a powerful testimony.

    thanks for the questions...blessings in your journey
     
  5. Coach C

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    Rufus, would you say that no Christian should have involvement in the public schools what so ever?

    In your opinion, are Christians who teach in the public schools sinning against God?

    Thanks for your input.
     
  6. Coach C

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    Amity,

    Thank you for your replies, I notice that you didn't address the second question. Could you share some of your thoughts on these issues?
     
  7. benz

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    "1. What responsibilities does a Christian have if they are teaching in the state educational system? Where is the line, in your opinion, between Christian duty and the first amendment prohibition of separation of church and state?"
    I dont think you should "preach" to the students as it is against the law, and not adhering to the law is a sin. If they ask a question then I wouldnt hesitate to give them a honest reply!

    2. For Parents: What is the deciding factors for you as to whether you educate your children in public school setting or other placement (home school or Christian School)?
    I am not a parent but I went to a catholic school and it was exactly like a public highschool except it had masses where they worshipped God and such things. I found it to be more hypocritical than anything, that being said I would send my kids to a catholic school or if I had the money I would send them to a christian school!

    3. What role do Christians have, in your opinion, in the public schools?
    If I was a student in the school then I would not hesitate to voice my opinion, but as a teacher I would be carefull as people can twist your words or you could get fired!
     
  8. Karen

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    True, except I would make sure they understood I was giving my belief, not speaking as a school employee. And I would not be taking up class time. I am there to follow the lesson plans. No different than someone being a cashier at Walmart with 10 carts backed up. It is not appropriate to do other than you are hired to do. If asked to do something immoral, you should not, of course.

    On a practical basis, there are more problems, benz, with your reply than you may think. I am a substitute in the local public school system. There are many times a disruptive student or group of them would love to get started on yelling out any old question that comes to mind.
    I am asked all kinds of questions all the time. :eek:
    And most of the time I tell them the only appropriate answer in the context: "Get back to work!" The few other times, it is a very succinct answer such as yes or no, followed by "Get back to work!" :wavey:
     
  9. Rufus_1611

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    If their involvement is efforting to shut them down or eliminate forcibly requiring Christians to support these organizations through property taxes etc. then this would be an honorable area of involvement.

    To elaborate further...

    When a Christian sends their child to a public school they are sending their child to an institution that teaches the religion of secular humanism. Thus, they are essentially sending their child to a Secular Humanistic church for 5 days out of the week. If Christians sent their children to a Mosque for 5 days out of the week and to church for 2 hours on Sunday, what is the likelihood that the child would develop or maintain his or her Christian worldview? Yet even with this obvious expected result, Christian parents are often surprised when Johnny or Sally no longer believe in God after being trained in the secular humanist religion.

    Plank 10 of the atheistic communist manifesto was to provide free education to children through public schools. A Christian should have no concord supporting Communism over a Free Republic.

    Lastly, the domain of educating Christian children is the domain of Christian parents and is not the domain of Pharaoh, Caesar or "No child left behind" social engineers.

    Not necessarily. If they are not teaching anything contrary to the Bible and are not compromising their witness for the thought police, then perhaps it's alright. Daniel and Joshua worked for wicked folks and God blessed them. However, if they're teaching an obvious attack on the God of the Holy Bible by teaching evolution or teaching Sally has two mommies, then I'd expect that would be a problem.
     
  10. palagislandgirl

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    Christians and the Public Schools

    When I taught in the public school, I taught the curriculum that I had to teach. None of it was against my beliefs; had it been I wouldn't had stayed there. The kids in my classroom listened to and sang carols at Christmas time. Now as a substutite, I work at several different schools in one town. The motto of In God We Trust is posted at the schools and there is always a positive atmosphere. One school even has a time for a moment of silence. They don't call it a prayer but that's what I use it for. I think that if Christians aren't in the public schools we are making them worse by not influencing those around us. Why can't we use words if necessary. As far as kids are concerned, if they choose to share their Christian worldview with their friends in the classroom, I'm not going to stop them!
    :godisgood:
     
  11. annsni

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    A Christian teaching in the public school system has every responsibility that any other job would entail: do your job to the best of your ability. Be honorable, respectful, hard working and you will do well. Get into these kids' lives because so many do NOT do that. Get to know them. In addition, if kids as questions about religion - answer honestly. By answering a question, you're not "pushing religion on them" but just answering a question just like any other question.

    For me, it is what is in the best interest of my child? I sent my oldest to public school for kindergarten and first grade because I thought that's what you did. I chose to homeschool her starting in second grade (due to different circumstances - mainly her ADD) and I sent her younger sister to kindergarten just until I learned the ropes. My second child came home for first grade. They both stayed home through 8th grade and for 9th grade, God led us to send each of them back to the public school for high school. My oldest needed outside accountability at that point and my younger one needed to be knocked off her high horse (she's good at EVERYTHING and is in a group where she's the top dog - and she was getting prideful about it). We didn't send either one of them back without lots of prayer and confirmation from the Lord. Their younger siblings will not set foot in public school until God tells us to. If we're to homeschool through high school, that's fine with me.

    I chose not to utilize the Christian school for 2 reasons - we cannot afford it and it is not strong academically or spiritually, IMO. Academically, the public school is better and my girls have so many opportunities there.

    For both my girls, in the 8th grade, we did an intense apologetic course so that they were quite grounded before going out into the world. Neither one has been swayed and as a matter of fact, they're influencing so many in the school. It's been awesome to see.

    Christians have a huge role in the public schools. The world and the ACLU wants God to be totally kept out of school and for Christians to back into a corner and leave. But by standing for what our rights are, we can then prayerfully influence others around us. My daughters have restarted the Bible club that was originally started only due to a lawsuit (but it shut down when there was no one to lead it a few years later) and they pray at the flagpole every Wednesday morning. They have spoken out against evolution (7th and 8th grade science taught them a lot), corrected misconceptions about God and have been a light in a dark place. I thank God for them and their hearts - their burden for their fellow students.
     
  12. gb93433

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    Don't send your kids to church because Satan is there too. About 2/3 of the churches in America are dead and dying. Churches fight. Some of the worse ethics happens in churches. In your Bible read what Paul wrote about some troublemakers in the church. Imagine reading about immorality in the church in 1 Cor. 5:1 "It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife."

    However, you can send your kids to college and they will find Christians who are examples that Christianity does work among non-Christians. At the university I hear students sharing Christ with other students. A few years ago I took a group of students to a competition and the Christian students were sharing Christ with the non-Christians in the van. Those are divine encounters that only happen when those who know Christ are always ready to give a defense of the faith.

    The non-Christians who want religion out of the schools are on your side. They like you because then they can do waht they want. The Christians in Vista, CA decided that the Christians should be involved and voted Christians on the school board. However in other areas of the U.S the Christians roll over nad play dead and have become door mats while the owrld wealks all over them.

    The Bible says, "The righteous are bold as a lion."

    We are not to teach people to be whimps but to live for Christ. Living for Christ is not done in a vacuum. It is a reality. Christ is alive. Too many treat Him as dead and fragile like ceramic. With an attitude and practice like yours should we wonder why so often it is the new Christians coming from non-Christian homes who are the strongest witnesses on college campuses?
     
    #12 gb93433, Mar 5, 2007
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  13. gb93433

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    When I was teaching in the public there were many opportunities when students brought up the issue of Christ and Christianity.

    That is what can happen when parents give reasons for their faith instead of sharing ignorance or nothingness.


    Thank God for kids like yours. While your children are seeing lives changed they are also learning to be bold in their defense of the gospel. Kids like yours strengthen kids who are not so bold and strong. I have watched classes completely change in their attitude because I am a Christian.
     
  14. amity

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    Exactly. Many, if not most, of the teachers in our school district have Christian themed material around their desks. One teacher has Bible verses posted in large letters from the floor to the ceiling all around the corner where he sits. Kids DO sing Christmas carols, and often choose religious themes in artwork, stories, etc. Christian materials are available in the school library.

    I have read about school districts where if little Johnny tries to draw a picture of Noah's ark in art class it will be discouraged, or in some instances even allegedly forbidden, but this has never been the case where I live. I was even shocked when I was subbing at the local Head Start, a federally funded daycare program for low income children, that they taught the children to say grace at meals! It was not an explicitly Christian prayer, but it was some imperfect embodiment of community standards.... what they could "get away with" I guess.

    So really it seems that Christianity is quite accepted in our public schools in my small town. There is no non-Christian religious group here of any significant size.
     
  15. gb93433

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    That's great!!

    At the high schol where my daughter attends they sing Christian songs at the Christmas concert where people pay money to come. Even though some are not Christians the gospel message is there is song.
     
  16. StraightAndNarrow

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    The public schools teach reading, writing, and arithmetic not secular humanism. I attended public schools grades 1-12 and did some substituting and never heard anything taught against Christianity. In fact, in high school I gave a talk in a public speaking class about proofs for the existence of God. I wasn't reprimanded in any way. Because of that speech, a student in the class came to our house wanting me to help him with a personal problem. In other words, I openly witnessed in public school and reached someone.

    My mother taught the deaf in public schools for 30 years. Many of her children attended her Sunday School class for the deaf and the worship service at our Baptist church. She and my Aunt founded a pre-school for the deaf funded by the local Woman's Club and outside benefactor's notably Mrs. Spensor Tracy. The school has grown and recently celebrated it's 50th anniversary. She did a lot of good in her career. I saw many of her former pupils come back 30 years after they were in her class to thank her for giving them a chance in life.

    Don't tell me the public schools are the Antichrist. Outstanding teachers like my mother came find ways to witness to their children primarily by living their faith and not by cursing their institution. For that matter, so can all of us in whatever vocation we have chosen.
     
    #16 StraightAndNarrow, Mar 5, 2007
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  17. annsni

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    Well, you certainly have not been in our school district here in New York (Northport, Long Island). There's lawyers involved right now about whether or not a friend of ours can teach a class called "What is Creation Science" to the ADULTS in the continuing education (NOT part of school)! My now almost 17 year old was in kindergarten when they were teaching them guided imagery and all about a dragon named Pumsey (description of the "kit" - This kit is intended as a curriculum guide for teaching self-esteem to elementary school children through cognitive restructuring and positive thinking skills. 'Pumsey in Pursuit of Excellence' is a skill-based program.), who "could be with you all the time like no one else. Your parents can't be with you all the time, your friends can't be there all the time but Pumsey can. He'll be your friend and your guide."

    So much of the class time is NOT taken up with reading, writing and arithmetic but with this "self-esteem" stuff that is being pushed on us.

    Secular humanism is alive and well in our school district. God is not allowed. Friends of mine had to sue to start a Bible club in our high school. God is not mentioned at all. We have Holiday Recess instead of Christmas break. We have Spring Recess instead of Easter Break. Talk about God and you get into trouble but my daughter's history class did some meditation and tried to move a candle and that was just fine (I pulled her from class that day - spoke to her teacher and told her she was NOT to be in that classroom). I guess it depends on where you live but a Christian teacher would not be allowed to teach about the existence of God - ever. I can assure you of that.
     
  18. StraightAndNarrow

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    What was so bad about a dragon named Pumsey? Did you ever watch The Wizard of Oz or the TV show Mister Ed about a talking horse? What about stories about unicorns or magic? Do you call this Secular Humanism? I call it children's stories.

    Personally, I'd say a lot of kids would benefit from being taught self esteem with the divorce rate over 50% and worse among self proclaiming Christians than among non-Christians. My mother used to throw in some things about personal hygiene. I suppose that's Secular Humanism too.
     
    #18 StraightAndNarrow, Mar 5, 2007
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  19. amity

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    If your public schools are teaching something you don't like, by all means contact teachers, administrators, and board members. If you can raise public support for your ideas they will likely be implemented, if it is possible to do so within the really very broad laws that govern schools. These are OUR schools! I not only work for the school district, I also pay a coupla thousand dollars per year in school taxes!
     
  20. annsni

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    Is Mr. Ed always there to guide you when your parents can't be? Can he bring you to a place where things are always good and then can affect your life?? There's nothing wrong with "pretend" but telling my child the stuff that they did was completely out of line (and I pulled her from the program immediately). Here's more information on the curriculum and what they did in my daugher's class:

    "Included in transpersonal education is the idea of teaching children to find an imaginary place in their minds where they can go to withdraw from their environment; in other words, their taught to create their own reality. The Pumsey the Dragon program uses Pumsey, a dragon with poor self-esteem, and a character called ‘Friend’ to achieve improved self-esteem for children. Friend speaks to Pumsey about the “Clear Mind,” that part of the mind that always thinks positive thoughts and causes good things to happen. The Clear Mind is always there for you whenever it’s needed: “It always finds a way to let you feel OK even if there are walls.... Sometimes it just goes right through walls as if they weren’t there” (ibid., 140f). One way to create mind pictures is using relaxation techniques and deep breathing exercises that follow a hypnosis pattern; creating a mind picture ends with the children opening their eyes and saying with the teacher, “I am me, and I am enough. I am me, and I am enough. I am me, and I am enough” (cf. id. 141). Rick Branch wrote, “Of course, this is the only possible conclusion to which a student can come, if indeed the Clear Mind is the best friend they can ever have. For who, besides themselves, can they turn to for help, advice, and counsel” (ibid. 141)?" (from http://209.85.165.104/search?q=cach...um&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=18&gl=us&client=firefox-a

    There is a lot more to this than "stories". "I am me, I am enough" is not quite the Biblical statement, don't you think? And as for "self-esteem" and the curricula that they use in schools, I can pretty safely say, it's either not working or working too well. Kids have an 'entitlement' attitude, they are most important and everyone is not. They don't care about anyone else and how things affect anyone else - because they're all that matters. Divorce is so common nowadays because "it's not meeting MY needs", "I'm just not happy", "I've grown and want out of this relationship". How many people divorce because of TRUE problems in their marriage? Why do people cheat? Because they're worth it! Sorry, but I don't see ONE verse in Scripture that supports ANY of this. I want my children to have a TRUE picture of their worth - that the Creator of the universe died for them - because they are sinners and He wanted to make a way for them to come to Him. That they can have a relationship with Him because of what HE did - not because "they are enough".
     

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