Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Violence in Schools: A Heart Issue

Restore our Schools

This is what our schools looked like not too long ago

Today my daughter came home and shared about the anti-bullying campaign that went on in her high school. She said that she was very emotional as the testimonies and stories were shared of the people involved in a particular school shooting.

When I attended school, there were no anti-bullying campaigns, no mention of God, really nothing to teach to the affective part of the students. God was removed from schools before I attended.

The intentions are good for starting these programs. But they are a response to the violence we are now seeing in the schools. But what is at the heart of this new kind of violence we are seeing?

Some people suggest that the violence is because of Hollywood and video games and a general desensitization to violence and a lack of regard for human life. This could be part of the problem, but more acurately is the effect of the problem.

Some people suggest that we don't deal with our emotionally and mentally handicapped people, that they are 'mainstreamed' with the rest of society and not given the attention that they need. This could also be part of the problem but, again, only the effect of the problem.

Some people suggest that the availability of weapons, namely assault rifles, are the problem. Which, who knows, it could be part of the problem. But more likely, what people do with weapons is an effect of the real problem.

I would like to suggest that we look a little deeper into where the problem lies. Obviously, weapons can't kill another person. There has to be a person operating the weapon. Violent video games don't turn a person into a killer, my son plays them all the time and has a kind and gentle heart.

So what then makes a person commit such a crime against others?

I did some research on school shootings and discovered that the first school shooting was on August 1, 1966 when Charles Whitman climbed on top of an observation deck at the University of Texas-Austin, and killed 16 people and wounded 31 during a 96-minute rampage.

On June 25, 1962 there was a critical ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court that removed prayer from our nation’s schools. 39 million students were not allowed by our U.S. government to do what they have been doing since the founding of our country. They were not allowed to call upon the name of God at the beginning of each school day. Keep in mind that since our country was founded, God was allowed and invited into our schools.

The New York school children which prompted the Engel vs. Vitale ruling in 1962 had prayed a simple, yet profound, prayer: “Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence on Thee and beg Thy blessing over us, our parents, our teachers and our nation.”

In 1925, it was against the law in the state of Tennessee to teach evolution. The ACLU stepped in and now the majority of schools cannot teach Creation, only evolution.

In 1963, Courts banned Bible reading in schools. In 1980, the Supreme Court said that posting the Ten Commandments went against the U.S. Constitution.

Again, the first U.S. school shooting happened in 1966.

Before these laws were enacted against Christianity in the public schools, children read Bible verses within their school curriculum, verses that taught them moral principles on a daily basis.

As a teacher myself, I was instructed by our public school administrator to not address any moral issues in the classroom. "Language arts, bell to bell," was the directive. This administration, I might add, also shut down the student-led Bible study that I allowed to take place in my classroom every Friday during lunch. A study that was allowed by previous administrators. This type of governing, unfortunately, is not uncommon in public schools in America.

An article I read on Forbes online quoted an author who asserted that Christians have "confused their cultural heritage with biblical Christianity." I would agree that, yes, we have had a significant cultural heritage of Christianity in this country. However, it was based on biblical Christianity and what the God of the Bible calls his children to do. I am not going to quote every verse that addresses the nations who make the Lord their God, you can read them yourself. But I will make an overarching statement that, indeed, God blesses the nation that turns away from idolotry and turns to Him. There is no question about this as one reads through the Bible.

I think you can probably figure out where I am going with this blog. I firmly believe, and am deeply saddened by, the "systematic removal of the teachings of God" in our country as Mike Huckabee eloquently put it. I believe this has put our country in a more vulnerable position, vulnerable against attacks from other nations or hostile groups, and vulnerable against attacks from within. When are we going to wake up as a nation and realize where our blessings have come from in the past?

Our young people are not learning the truths of the Bible, the truths that protect us from each other. What they are learning, if not taught right from wrong at home, is what they see in the media they are so constantly bombarded with our current technology.

My call to action is to pray that God would be restored in our government, and even our public schools, not just in the form of anti-bullying campaigns, but the God of the Bible himself.

Lord, please soften the hearts of our people.

This is not what we want our schools to look like anymore


MaryA said...

I agree with you 1000%. Remove God from any equation and a void will be filled with some less desirable who is a liar, thief and a murderer, and proud of it. To read that your voluntary bible study was disbanded is disheartening, and while I would never want your school to ever experience any type of disaster, if it did, the question would be, "Where was God?". Hmmmm, He got kicked out.
So many children today don't even know that there is a God, a far cry from when I was growing up. They are at an extreme disadvantage. When I was in school, right and wrong was clearly defined and there were repercussions for breaking the rules. Now people want to sue when they get caught doing something wrong and are injured, as if they are not at fault.
Bringing God back into the mix at school is a big part of the solution.

Traci LeBrun said...

Thanks for the feedback, Mary. It's good to know that there are others who see the bigger spiritual picture of removing god from our schools. I am fearing that even many Christians have been indoctrinated into thinking that 'no God in school' is the way it has to be because of fear of offending another religion or not wanting to endorse one religion over another. Things will probably have to get worse before they get better, unfortunately. Traci

Anonymous said...

Why don't you Christians take your kids out of the horrid atheist public schools, and put them into private relgious schools? The job of teaching kids about religion lies with parenting, not with the nation's schools, and has nothing to do with bullying or school shootings. Bullying has been around forever, prayers or not.

Jack Durish said...

This cannot be a short comment. The topic is far too complex. Please bear with me.

First, the issue is complex, very complex. I suspect all simplistic responses. Proposals such as ban guns and bring back school prayer are emotionally driven in response to horrific acts of violence. Unfortunately, although each proposal may have some validity, none receive rational discussion. People generally divide into two camps, pro and con, and shout at each other until they've vented their spleen. They then retire to neutral territory, grumbling about each other, until the next act occurs.

We need to sit down and apply our energy better instead of wasting it on such feuds.

Secondly, we have greatly diminished our resources to respond. Whatever solution we agree upon will probably languish unfunded because our government has been spending our treasury on useless programs whose only outcome is to insure the continued reelection of incumbents. Indeed, things are going to get worse as cities and counties go bankrupt and can no longer provide police and other emergency services to the same degree with enjoy them today. You can bet that acts of violence will proliferate in such conditions.

Ideology has gotten in the way of education. Even if we are motivated to sit down and discuss these issues rationally, and we have the resources to effect the solutions that we craft, we are quickly losing the ability to think and solve problems effectively because educators are more concerned with indoctrinating our children with their brand of ideology rather than teaching them critical thinking skills. Indeed, critical thinking is the enemy of their indoctrination efforts. Go ahead and argue with me on this one. There is plenty of extant research to support my claim.

I could go on, but suspect that I have already upset or lost most readers by this point. That is why I choose to prepare to defend myself and my family, much like the wild west. I fear that we are descending into lawlessness. Just look at the proof of history. Every nation that has followed the course we have now adopted, has entered periods of economic strife. Scapegoats were identified and persecuted. Guns were seized so that minorities couldn't defend themselves and holocausts ensued.

That, I fear, is where we are headed.

Traci LeBrun said...

Anonymous . . you have some good points, however, people have thought it was a good idea to have the things of God in our schools for 100's of years up until just the last 30 or so. Maybe we have just "evolved" that much in the recent years! I'm sure we are much smarter than the people that went before us. Thanks for your comment though!

Traci LeBrun said...

Jack, I agree with many of your views and it is definitely complex in nature. It will never be an easy fix because our government would have it no other way! What would be an "easy fix" would be to not exclude God from our schools as we have in the last 20 years or so! I cannot argue God in the schools because, unless you are a Christian, you don't understand the effects of and benefits of including God in your daily life. I too fear that we are headed in the same direction as these other countries, a wrong direction, . . I just believe that the cause for that is different!

Kanwar Singh said...

Materialisim Vrs Spiritualism
In my opinion man has become hollow from inside he is hankering after material world .
Does man love himself most? Nay he loves more his \ her:-
1) Ego
2) Proud
3) Pompousness
5) His or her attachment to the worldy possessions e.t.c.
All the above negative instincts are more dear to man than God and the society.
There is need for development of human values. In fact humanity should be the religion of all religions. Parents of the present day society are required to inculcate good moral values in their offsprings. All mighty God has left us free to do acts whether good or bad. We shall get in return according to our deeds. As Newton's law of motion third one states that to every action there is equal and opposite reaction
" It is vital that when educating our childern brains, we do not neglect to educate their hearts by nurturing their hearts`compassionate nature .

Kanwar Singh said...

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Traci LeBrun said...

Kanwar . .thank you for your input. Agree with your points. Surprised that there isn't a 'humanity' church .. where we could just go and worship ourselves.