How Your Child can Get a Christian Education in a Public School
Guest Blogger: Ingrid DeDecker heads up the organization Partner with Schools. She also is the author of the book, Bring the Light to School. I, Scott Turansky, have read this book and found it to be a great resource for Christian families.
Some choose Christian schools, and some choose to homeschool, but most Christian kids attend public schools. Here’s how you can empower your children to grow in their faith during their public school experience.
75% of Christian Students in Public Schools Lose their Faith in God
Gender identity retraining begins in many locations beginning in Kindergarten. Parents are not allowed to opt kids out. Recently a teacher decided to have students do a relay race with condoms in the hallway. What’s even sadder is that the more this behavior takes over, the more atheism gets a foothold because that lifestyle is primarily promoted by atheism. No wonder 90% of our middle and high schools now have Gay/Straight Clubs; the new cool clubs in schools. Schools are often catalysts to change society. I wish that we as Christians would have as much zeal as the Gay/Straight supporters.
Imagine sitting in a class where science and history are explained without God; downright ignoring God. Even actively speaking against faith and creation starting in elementary school and continuing through high school. Would you doubt your faith just a little bit? After all, scientists must know something. Remember, you’re locked down and can’t leave.
Aside from atheism, your child runs into many other faiths. This religiously pluralistic setting hosts all kinds of beliefs in various gods, self, and the universe. No matter how much you uphold the faith at home; it’s not easy to undo that teaching.
Small Groups in School
It’s hard to change the macroenvironment of the school; but what about the microenvironment of your student? If you surround your kids with other believers, would that help? Faith and God would not be banned at their lunch table. Mutual encouragement and accountability can keep them aligned with the family faith.
Students would learn from each other and that they are allowed to bring up God in a class discussion. And that they can write reports and do class assignments freely mentioning their faith, or wear that Christian t-shirt. Even that they can have a Christian club and advertise it via the intercom, bulletin board, or handouts just like the chess club, drama club or any other club. Plus invite speakers and talk about God all they want.
Wouldn’t that give you peace of mind? Not just in high school; in elementary schools, they can sing a Christian song at the talent show or do a Christian skit. Better yet, parents can set up Christian clubs since the kids are too small to do it themselves.
As long as the club is voluntary and offered during non-instructional hours, such as lunchtime or after school, it’s perfectly legal. The school even has to let you send out a flyer with a permission slip, so parents can sign up their kids for your Christian Club. This would be a perfect platform to find other Christian friends.
The Bible tells us not to forsake fellowship. That’s because there’s power in the community. Church and youth group are great and needed, but our kids need more support in public school too. Why not recruit the youth pastor or children’s director to help with school outreach.
We often hear that Christian clubs have to be student-led; however, that’s not always the case. Only if the club is set up using the Equal Access Act in High Schools. However, you can set up a club using the Free Speech Clause and have adults teach the club from elementary through high schools.
Why Not Bless The School At The Same Time
If you offer to teach a character trait in addition to Bible stories, elementary schools will welcome you with open arms. And if you make it a fun club with a cool name, kids will run to it and parents will send their kids for character and friendship building. What a great opportunity to gather Christian kids while at the same time reaching out to others with the love of God.
Thousands of schools, even elementary schools, already have Christian Clubs. Why not join them. No need to run off to a far mission field when our kids right at home need us. Let’s get involved while schools are still wide open. The Dept. of Education, even the ACLU endorse Christian Clubs. None other than the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Christian Clubs in the Milford case in 2001, which is still our precedent.
It’s Incredibly Rewarding
So what’s holding you back? It doesn’t have to be a strict commitment. In elementary schools, you can run a one-hour-per-week club for eight weeks in fall and spring. You’ll be energized after each club session because you know how many lives you’ve impacted.
It’s a great feeling you can live off for a long time. And high schoolers can do it themselves unless they want to recruit a cool youth pastor or parent. Want more information about the rights Christian students have in school or how to start a club? Get your free ebook at www.partnerwithschools.org