The Trouble with Public Schools

    In Judges 2 we read, ". . . another generation arose after them who did not know the Lord nor the work which He had done for Israel. Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord . . . [T]he hand of the Lord was against them . . . And they were greatly distressed" (Judges 2:10, 11, 15). Sadly, the passage sounds a lot like where we are today in America's public schools. Religion and the Bible are no longer being taught. We've forgotten what the Lord has done for us, and we're paying the price. Over the last forty years, society has become more and more violent. Classroom discipline, once concerned with chewing gum and cutting in line, focuses today on guns, knives, drugs, rape, and even murder. Consider the case of a New York City teacher who resigned because of something that few people are willing to acknowledge publicly: the dangerous climate in our schools. In an anonymous article recently in the New York Post, the teacher asked us to imagine ourselves in the following situations: Picture yourself trying to teach students who talk above you the entire time you're speaking. Picture yourself assigning homework, and just six students out of thirty-four actually do it. Picture being cursed on a weekly basis for asking students to be quiet or to come inside the classroom. Picture fights breaking out while you're teaching. Picture yourself calling security and waiting helplessly as the fight turns into a riot, because security never comes. Picture calling a student's home and being told, "I can't control him either. That's why I send him to school. He's your responsibility." Picture garbage being thrown at you when you're trying to walk to your car. Picture being threatened with knives the day before report cards come out. Well, the "school climate" varies from place to place, but when teachers spend most of their time struggling to maintain order, no amount of extra money or stricter testing will help. We have to instill fundamental values and teach right and wrong -- and the source of the moral order. There's a solution that can help restore civility. It's called "Released Time Bible Education," and it's perfectly legal. With parental permission, public school kids can be released for devotional Bible study, organized off-campus by local churches during the day. It's that simple. It's constitutional, and it works. School Ministries, an organization dedicated to bringing hope to youth through Released Time Bible Education, has gathered some great stories about how lives are being changed. Call us here at BreakPoint and we'll tell you how you can get a copy. Looking for a program that can reduce violence, truancy, vandalism, and incivility, while increasing caring and ministering to those in need? What teacher or parent in their right mind wouldn't want something like this that really works? Every hour on MTV, there's music that celebrates suicide and violence. That's the world our kids are living in. But the Bible offers a worldview that gives hope and meaning, showing that good is stronger than evil, and that love can triumph over hate. Go to to find out more about Released Time Education -- a great way to bring hope to America's youth, and their teachers. For more information, see these sites: +, for the academic study of the Bible in public schools. +, for the devotional study of the Bible during the public school day off-campus.


Chuck Colson


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