My Kids, Their School & Me
As social critic George Carlin once said, "we have bigger houses and smaller families; more conveniences, but less time; we have more degrees, but less sense; more knowledge, but less judgment; more experts, yet more problems," in other words, we're missing something; we're moving ahead, but all while falling backwards.
Since the 1999 mass shootings at Columbine there have been 50 fatal school shootings in the US. As each subsequent shooting happens, schools tighten their control more and more in an effort to “keep our children safe”. Our schools have become a place of fences and totalitarian rule. Those in control want more control and those who are under the control are miserable. The children & parents never know how the rules change from one minute to the next. How can children be expected to learn in this kind of environment? I would tell you that from my standpoint, we are failing our children. I think part of the problem is not what we are adding to our schools that make it safe. It is what we have taken away that has made our schools unsafe.
In June 1962, our Supreme Court deemed it necessary that prayer had no place in our public schools. We have replaced it with the mandatory moment of silence. Like the foolish man who only looked to his own wisdom when choosing a place to build his house, the sand began, at that moment, to start shifting from under our country’s home. Leaning on our own understanding has made us stray from the path God has for each of us. Part of this path within our schools, is to provide our children with a safe place in which to learn, and it has been desecrated for the sake of religious disconnection from our public lives. When we, in our great wisdom, asked God to leave our schools, and because He is a gentleman, He left. The bible states that The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. This is not fear as in I’m scared, this is realizing that God is holy, and we are not. But, because we are made in His image, and if you believe that concept, then you are called to be set apart from what is unholy.
Your choices matter. My mom always informed us kids at the beginning of each school year that “if we got in trouble at school, we would get it double at home”. We also watched our parents tell the teachers that if they received any trouble from us in the classroom, all they needed to do was to send them a note or call them on the phone and “the problem would be dealt with”. I think those were some of the scariest words my mom ever uttered. You know why? For one, they were not empty threats. When Linda told you that you were in trouble, you better believe you were going to get it. But, it also taught me that the choices I made mattered to her. I would be held accountable at the end of each day for my actions. If I messed up, I know my administrators, teachers and parents loved me enough to discipline me. It wasn’t my parents working against my teachers; it was my parents working WITH my teachers. My teachers didn’t need to worry about us being disrespectful, because my momma didn’t put up with that kind of foolishness. But today, that is not how it is. Parents believe their children before they believe the teacher. Children have learned to manipulate the system because they know the parent/teacher fortification is broken.
Because this is my oped, I can tell you what I believe. I believe in what the bible says: “the Lord disciplines those he loves”. If I am going to follow in His footsteps as a loving parent, I correct my children out of love for them. I want, no, I demand the best of my children. All four of them are smart and capable of making good grades and good decisions. Their choices matter. Are they going to mess up? Yes they are. I know I did.
I love my children, their friends and their school system too much to be silent anymore. I will now pack my soapbox up and head to the house.