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Christians in the Public School System
I've been commissioned by Faith Today magazine, Canada's largest Christian magazine, to write an article on how Christian principals in the public school system can live out their faith on the job.

I've interviewed almost 10 principals, and they are optimistic, faithful, and enthusiastic. They pray. They have plans to introduce godly virtues into the culture of their schools, and they largely succeed. They were really a joy to talk to.

But now I'm really torn. I am going to present a faithful version of what they said, but I still feel very pessimistic about the public system in general. You can read more about that here, here and here.

Now I hear about an autistic child in Barrie, north of Toronto, who was reported to the Children's Aid Society because her Educational Assistant consulted a psychic, who told her that one of her students was being sexually abused. She reported this to the principal, who called CAS. On the advice of a psychic. And I am not making this up.

On May 30, Leduc picked Victoria up from school, where she's enrolled in an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) class with several boys around the same age. When Leduc returned home, there was an urgent call asking her to return to the Livingstone Street East school.

Frightened, Leduc rushed back to the school.

She and Victoria entered a room where they were met by the principal, the vice-principal and the teacher.

Leduc said they advised her that Victoria's educational assistant (EA) had visited a psychic, who said a youngster whose name started with "V" was being sexually abused by a man between 23 and 26 years old. Leduc was also handed a list of recent behaviours exhibited by her daughter.

School principal Brian Tremain -- who referred phone calls seeking comment to the board -- advised Leduc that the CAS had been contacted.

"That's when I got sick to my stomach," she said. "I was shocked the whole meeting."

It's not just stuff like this that makes me wary, though. It's the whole idea that we can teach about values without actually having a foundation. It's great to teach about honesty, and virtue, and kindness, but if there's no foundation that comes from the freedom and liberty that we have earned in Western society due to our Judeo-Christian heritage, does it even matter? And when we give up on academics to teach things that should properly be taught at home, then kids suffer.

I homeschool, so I am admittedly biased. And I am extremely glad that these principals are in the public system, so that incidences like that in Barrie are still relatively rare. But I can't help thinking that we have veered so far off track that it's hard to get back. Anyway, I'm just saddened by the whole thing.

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At 10:04 PM , Blogger Heather said…

I agree with you on the public school thing in regards to the foundation of moral values. So why should our kids not bully other kids, they are just "expressing themselves" in a different way, right? And the real problem in my opinion is there is no real deterrant to bad behavior. As a former public school teacher myself, I had first hand knowledge of this one. Detentions (for older ones), staying in from recess, getting a lowered grade...none of this really worked to change behaviors for me. Oh and forget about calling the parents. I had one parent who actually said to me, "I believe my son and his friends over you." I mean, come on....why would a teacher spend her FREE time calling a parent to cause a controversy if there was really no issues with the child in class? Many parents are convinced that "their little Johnny" could NEVER do bad things at school. UGH!!! Finally, the thing to me that is the most aggregious about the public schools is that the children are starting younger and younger with THE WORST attitudes. At my mom's school, there recently was a Kindergartener who was EXPELLED for his behaviors. Can you believe this? K and 1st graders with middle schoolers attitudes. It certainly seems to be getting worse and without a moral center focused on the fear of the Lord I really don't see it getting any better. It is sad. I love teaching music, but I do not love the battle of wills day after day in the public schools. It was a rough job and I am thankful now to be a stay at home mom and private piano and flute teacher. Thank you Lord!!
~Heather C.


At 11:24 PM , Blogger pedalpower said…

I have worked in the public schools some, and my kids went to public schools. My youngest just graduated. The schools are not perfect, and it's too bad that they have to try to teach values and good character traits...but many parents are just not on the job as parents and are not even trying to teach their kids these things. My kids had a foundation....a relationship with Christ...and we taught and modeled these things at home. But that is unfortunately not happening in so many homes. So many kids have no structure, no religious training, no loving discipline...even though their parents "love" them they don't want to have to be the authority figures. It's sad the schools have to step in to try and fill this huge gap, but since so many parents won't step up to the plate they have to try.

Sorry this is so long, but I when I occasionally worked in the schools it was so frustrating that when the school stayed out of it, they were blamed for not teaching "values" when really parents should have been the ones teaching values. And when they try to teach "values" they get raked over the coals for that too.


At 8:55 PM , Blogger Leebird said…

Hi there,

I am actually working on an article right now on being the hands and feet of Christ in the public school system. I am a public school teacher at a junior high school in AZ. I am fully aware of how imperfect the public school system is, but I'm also aware that it is pretty much a microcosm of what the real world is like. I feel an intense calling to the mission field the Lord has placed me in. My students need Jesus, and God uses me to show Himself to them. My three sons attend public schools, and I do so without reservation. They receive a spiritual foundation at home and at our church. My prayer is that they will also shed the light of Christ in their classrooms, in the lunch room, and in the locker room. If every Christian family pulled out of the public school system, I believe our society would crash and burn overnight. We are in the world but not of it. I pray that God will continue to bless your ministry.

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About Me

Name: Sheila

Home: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.

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