Recently this guy named Bruce N. Shortt released this book titled The Harsh Truth About Public Schools. It's kind of a catchy title, so I read the first chapter. Now, I'll be the first to tell you, public schools are definitely not perfect. They are not healthy places. But it seems to me that this should not be a reason to shun them or look down on us public school-educated people. It should be a reason to have compassion for them.
Advocates of homeschooling have based their views on the undeniable presence of evil in public schools. Drugs, violence, sex, secular humanist propaganda, moral ambiguity, they're all there. I know, I've observed it first-hand. But instead of focusing on the evils of public schools and alienating 99% of the population, shouldn't we be reaching out to kids in public schools with the message of Jesus? Kids who, if not for other public school kids who are Christians, would never hear the Truth of the Gospel?
Many worry that Christian kids will be sucked in to the secular world if they are exposed to public schooling, but that is why parents must give their kids a firm foundation in the Faith. A child's first and most deeply rooted educational experience comes from their parents and stays with them for the rest of their lives. If this experience is based on the Word of God and if parents continue to instill Christian values in their children as they go through school, kids will know right from wrong, and be able to choose the right, even if the world is against them. Their greatest influence should come not from the world around them but from the One who lives inside of them.
Greater is He who is in me than he that is in the world.
Parents cannot make their kids be Christians. Kids must choose it for themselves. But if all they ever see or know is a "safe" little bubble their parents created for them, it's not a real decision. If Adam and Eve hadn't had the choice to sin, they wouldn't have sinned, but their obedience would have no meaning. Forced obedience is not true obedience, and it is not fulfilling.
So, what do we do about the harsh truth of public schools? The answer is not taking our Christian kids out of public schools. Kids in public schools need to see Christian kids living out their relationship with God now more than ever. How else will they learn the Truth in such a worldly place? The answer is to equip our Christian kids with the ability to impact their public schools for Christ.