Testimony of My Trial at the Public Schools

     Before class started one day, a student asked me what I was reading as he came in from lunch. I was sitting behind my desk with a paperback, but it was a book of hymns. "I'm not reading - I'm singing." In fact, I was. After the initial crush of the load I was carrying well-nigh caused me to snap, I began spending my lunch time in going among the rows of desks singing from my paperback hymnal and rejoicing in the Lord. Once a week I would fast lunch, turn off the lights, and pray kneeling. I could see the light in the hall through the glass window in the door. I needed God more than my necessary food.

     I don't know what was happening in the spiritual realm in my classroom, but I sensed that many students, involved in all manner of evil, couldn't stand the presence of our Lord I had invited there and urgently wanted to leave the room. Some even left without permission when I wouldn't let them. I would fill out the office referral form to report them, but I knew they left because they were caught up in ungodliness. One came back, however, frantic on discovering that I was going to report her. I made a deal with her — she changed her irresponsible ways and I tore up the referral.

     I got much sustenance from a lady at church. She graciously relinquished her book on classroom management in the 21st century to me, gave me vital suggestions that averted failure, kept calling me till I was out of the darkest part of the woods, and prayed for me. She said the teacher that changed her life never knew, and encouraged me to go on even though I wasn't seeing results. I was desperately needy and she took time to meet me in my need. I can't thank her enough. May the Lord delight to honor her. (Est. 6:11)

     In teacher orientation one session involved creating a diagram that showed what had influenced our lives and then telling the group at our table. I testified that Jesus was my Lord and Savior. I disregarded what resistance was there to discourage me saying so. Instead of being met with coldness, four of the six new teachers also had similar declarations of Jesus' influence.

     It wasn't so friendly at the diversity training session. I was hired with the understanding that homosexuality was not pushed in the diversity program at the school. Well, not so. There was an exercise in which we were supposed to match the homosexual, Mexican, black, hippie, and woman with his/her occupation and picture. I didn't participate because I recognized it as a tool used to try to loosen my hold on my values (technically called "values clarification"), normalizing homosexuality. I take 1 Sam. 16:7b as my guideline: "Man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart." God wants us to look at people like He looks at them. 2 Cor. 5:16, Gal. 3:28, and Col. 3:11 show God does not regard race. He looks deeper. My conscience was bothered at the classification of people into categories that shouldn't matter ("diversity"), besides the condoning of immorality ("tolerance"). These diversity trainings, prevalent in academia and business throughout the country, have an agenda to marginalize Christianity and replace it with "a dogmatic agnosticism about all truth claims and moral questions, with any dissent from it hounded at every turn until all submit to its insistent nescience." (Meic Pearse's definition of tolerance)

     Afterward we watched a video of the various people in the pictures talking, and it was pure pro-homosexuality and anti-church (those hard-hearted bigots that won't let a lesbian group perform at their church). Then we were supposed to talk about it with person next to us. I had sat there all this while in solitary discomfort. Apparently I was the only one out of the auditorium crowd who saw anything wrong. With quiet emotion I said, "I don't look at people that way." It was tense. My talking partner was uncomfortable with my confronting the political correctness.

     When the lady doing the session began speaking again she eyeballed me, like teachers do, to get me to do what I was supposed to do. I just firmly stared back. After the break the person next to me, who had been sitting in my vicinity for days, sat on the other side of the room. Why wouldn't the Christians stand up against such nonsense? No one objected. Maybe they didn't want to jeopardize their jobs, but couldn't they at least grumble? Not a peep. When I was at a teacher orientation during my student-teaching, I could have not participated in a couple of the values "clarification" exercises, but I didn't know it for what it was at that time. I was troubled by it, though. (Racism wasn't promoted at that time.)

     Overall, a strong presence of mind was required to not feel unsettled. It was a huge place where records, communication, and inquiry was done by computer. Personal interaction had to be sought out; every man was an island. Teachers stayed in their rooms. (This also had the advantages of greater freedom and privacy.) The multitudinous departments, procedures, and required compliances was information-overload. One morning a new teacher asked me if I was having a hard time. She was not coping well at all. I told her how the Lord was helping me and causing me to overcome. When I told her about a Bible verse that spoke to just what we were going through and was helping me, she got out some paper and eagerly wrote it down.

     After school started, only one other person bore witness with me as a believer. Another person sounded like he was, but didn't hear the question when I asked him if he was. Oh well. So we continued our informative talk. I found out from him that kids these days don't know what time "a quarter to five" is, for instance. He also told me that the school needed more teachers like me, which was ironic, because while he was talking to me I had my resignation letter on my computer screen.

     I'm not saying there weren't other believers in the school system. I had contact with many neighborly people, and they wouldn't have known I was a Christian any more than I would have known about them. Two of my supervisors were especially perceptive and gracious.

     While I was open to the fact that maybe the Lord was leading me to stay, I sent my resignation letter. I was still open when I found out the letter was somehow deleted and not sent. Whatever God wanted, I was submissive to, but I was greatly hoping that I'd be (figuratively) delivered over the walls of the city in a basket like Paul was (Acts 9:25). Shortly things fell into place and my replacement started the next week. :)

     I don't know why that man said the school needed more teachers like me. I had never met him before then. It was gratifying to have someone say what I was doing was having a good effect. I had some success stories of my own. I saw three have a heart change in response to my strong treatment, and another, who was seriously at odds with the school, was my favorite student. Hopefully dozens learned to add, subtract, divide, multiply, do negative numbers and fractions, solve simple equations, and start to think. That's not enough to pass the class, but they won't be so woefully ignorant now. (Students had taken Algebra 1 before getting in my classes.) Hopefully some took to heart the admonition to have self-control to avoid being forced to do right. I only told a handful that I was leaving, the ones subjecting me to incredible disrespect not meriting the courtesy. I feel for the ones enduring the high-jacked classes. I don't know the answer for them besides get out if you can. At least my successor inherited a ready-made class in terms of organization and materials I left for her.

     I had authority in the classroom, but it was not recognized. Of course, I'm not the only one who had that problem. One teacher especially encouraged me to get out if I had a chance. Besides the grief a teacher gets from the kids' behavior, they don't learn either, no matter how well they're taught. (Check out the latest standings. My supervisors can vouch for my ability.) It was an impossible situation. Add to that the looseness with which they possess their vessels. (1 Thess. 4.4) The book of Jeremiah is about the trouble God was having with Israel. "And they have turned unto me the back, and not the face: though I taught them, rising up early and teaching them, yet they have not hearkened to receive instruction." (Jeremiah 32: 33) If God can't make an unruly people behave, how can I? However, God has wonderful plans for Israel that will come to pass. "After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts." (Jeremiah 31:33b) How is He going to do that for the public schools? He can do the impossible.

     Martin Luther said, "I am much afraid that the schools will prove the Gates of Hell unless they diligently labor in explaining the Holy Scriptures and engraving them in the hearts of youth. I advise no one to place his child where the Scriptures do not reign paramount. Every institution in which men are not unceasingly occupied with the Word of God must be corrupt."  (quoted in Onto the Yellow School Bus and Through the Gates of Hell, by Dr. Mary Hood)  "In 1750, virtually all education in America was Christ-centered. By 1850, the secularists were hard at work trying to change that…. Supreme Court decisions in the 1960s accelerated things drastically…." (pp. 10, 11 ibid.) "The public schools of America have become 'houses built on sand.'... If you truly have no other option, will you cover [your children] with your prayers and demand to be heard by the authorities on issues that matter? Or will you go off to work every day and leave them to enter those 'Gates of Hell' unaided?... The spiritual warfare in this world is reaching a climax." (p. 16)

     I'm planning on joining a group formed to pray for the school. The contact person said, "We have a time of praise, confession, and thanksgiving all together, and then we split into groups of 2-3 and pray for our particular kids, specific teachers by name (we choose from a list, sometimes we don't know anything about them, but trust the Lord does), specific kids by name (again, same as the teachers - it's humbling realizing that for some of these kids, we may be the only person who has ever prayed for them), then for school concerns (where we pray for revival each week) and then Moms in Touch concerns." I "pray... that [the Lord] will send forth labourers into His harvest." (Mt. 9:38) Teachers in public schools aren't allowed to do any harvesting. I wonder what He can do with a teacher outside the public school. This prayer meeting may be the start of finding out.

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