As you read the title of this blog entry, you may think I am about to write from an elitist point of view, but actually quite the opposite is true. The thing that has my thoughts turned toward the subject I am about to share my thoughts and heart about is a story I heard this week. I was told the story of a headmaster at a private Christian school. He referred to the kids that attend public schools as being “diseased”. Just so everyone that reads this knows, my oldest daughter graduated from public school and my youngest attends public school now. So what has me concerned and to be honest just sickened that the leader of a Christian institution would call other children that simply attend public schools diseased.
I believe that private school education is a great option for those that want that option for their children’s education. I understand there are options as far as what can be taught that we simply do not have in the public education sector. I get all of that, but this one thing does not cause the kids in public schools to be diseased. Frankly, I prefer that my daughter be taught the principles of scripture in the home and at her church. So what would motivate a highly educated, headmaster at a Christian school to refer to children like my daughter as diseased? It is my humble opinion that the gentlemen has an elitist mentality because where this person is concerned, it is not the first time that this type of opinion has been expressed about those that opt to allow their children to be educated in the public school system and thus I guess be part of the great unwashed and diseased segment of the population. It breaks my heart that the leader of a Christian institution would have this opinion of people, especially kids that just happen to choose a different option for their children’s education. So why are those of us in the public education system considered by some as a little less desirable? Well, here goes my thoughts.
First, maybe it is the fact that our kids don’t get a “Kingdom Education”. Again as stated above this part of life should be taught at home and in the churches. By the way, I can think of and know plenty of teachers and administrators in our public education system that are followers of Christ. Many of these men and women set fine examples for our kids and have a very positive impact on their lives. Secondly, maybe it is because of all the things that happen in our schools such as drugs, alcohol and sex. Again, if the elitist (I DO NOT BELIEVE EVERYONE IN PRIVATE SCHOOL HAS AN ELITIST VIEW) believe that because their kids are in private schools that these things are not snares their children will have to navigate in their school life, they are sadly mistaken. The same temptations that affect the young people in public school can also affect the young people in the private education system. Thirdly, maybe it is because they do not pray in public school or teach bible classes. In this area, it might surprise you that I as a pastor am not a big proponent of prayer in schools that is initiated by employees of the school system. Would the same people (most of which are Christians) be ok with an Iman from the local Mosque or the local Hindu leader coming in and leading prayer? Probably not, but the thought by some that we should have the freedom to sanction prayer in school need to understand that this same freedom would apply to every religious group. Again, I just prefer that these things be taught in the home and church. Does this make my child diseased in some way? I think not, because my child knows how to pray.
My feeling is that perhaps this gentleman thinks these kids are diseased because some of them are different. I wonder where people with this thought process go to church? Do they allow their kids to attend Sunday School with the great unwashed from the public education system? Some of them come from different backgrounds whether it be religious, economic or ethnic. Perhaps, it is because some of them have life issues. I don’t know what would cause anyone in the private education sector, especially the Christian education sector, to feel this way because I have a feeling that Jesus would not be pleased. After all, he went to the least of society and loved them, healed them, ministered to them and even had them as followers while he was very critical of the religious elitist (Pharisees, Scribes, etc) of His day. I guess, I will side with our Lord on this and just think that ALL kids are precious in the site of God no matter where they are educated.
In closing, I want to use these last few words to say thanks to all those men and women that have answered the call to be teachers, administrators, coaches, etc whether it is in public or private education. I for one, when I think back on my days in school could name many teachers, administrators and coaches that had a tremendous impact on my life and I salute each of you. You have the challenge of taking these young skulls full of mush and helping turn them into productive participants in society and so many of you do a fantastic job.