Last year during the pandemic when schools were closed, our granddaughter entered first grade doing Zoom classes. It was public school, and just like what we’ve been hearing lately, things started getting weird. Not only was class time very limited each day, but we noticed they started deviating from traditional school subjects.
We started having issues with some strange COVID protocols and school board leadership, but it was on “Diversity Day” that we reached the point of no return. Forget for a moment that there was remarkably little time spent on reading, spelling, arithmetic, and other traditional subjects, but we did have plenty of time for a special session on “diversity.” The guest instructor for first graders that day taught on “the importance of the zodiac,” including the Chinese zodiac. At the end of the school day, our granddaughter asked my wife, “Mimi, am I a dog or a rat?”
That was finally enough. Our daughter and son-in-law literally called the Christian school in our city and enrolled her that week. Since then, we could not be more happy. The teachers teach from a Christian worldview, take their classes seriously, and believe in traditional education (and not trendy subjects influenced by social media activists).
Teacher unions and progressive politicians have fought school choice on every level so the options are limited, charter schools are being turned down – and private school isn’t free. But we feel that so much is at stake it’s worth the effort.
This message is for leaders of Christian schools at every level: This is the time to tell the world about the value of a distinctive Christian education and what it means for our future.
From pre-school through college, I’m convinced there are millions of parents and grandparents like us – particularly those stuck in school systems that are trading traditional education for teaching controversial trends like Critical Race Theory, explicit and inappropriate sex education, and “woke” progressive politics. It’s happening across the country, and in many cases, parents know little or nothing about what’s going on.
Parents are fed up with school boards and it’s easy to see why. It doesn’t take much time on social media platforms like “Tik-Tok” and Instagram to find progressive teachers actually bragging about indoctrinating their young students and sharing tips for how to keep parents from knowing what’s going on. In Bellingham, Washington, an elementary teacher is instructing second graders not to assume gender and to refer to people as “they” instead, in an effort to foster a “gender inclusive” classroom.
It’s time Christian schools became more aggressive in getting the word out about the difference they are making. And it’s time to start fundraising, and becoming more intentional about growth. Private school isn’t cheap, so we need to raise money for scholarships to help when families struggle to pay for a private Christian education. We also need to campaign for school vouchers.
This is the moment to act before parents completely give up and settle for the worst.
There’s a growing customer base out there and it’s time to engage with those families.
If you don’t, the future doesn’t look so bright….
Phil Cooke, Ph.D. is a producer and media consultant to churches and ministries across the country. His latest book is “The Way Back: How Christians Blew Their Credibility and How We Get It Back.” Find out more at www.philcooke.com.