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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Elementary School (07/19/04)

TITLE: There’s Angels in Satan’s Sandbox
By WENDY DECKER
07/22/04

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Public Elementary School was once a place where you sent your children to learn the three “RRR’s” and socialize on the playground.

Each day they pledged allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and the phrase, “One Nation under God” was not an issue for debate.

A child’s education is very important. Therefore, where you send your child to school is a personal decision each family must make with prayer and guidance from God.

I have chosen to send my children to public elementary school. My friends who home-school and send their children to Christian schools don’t think so highly of my decision.

There are days that I, myself, feel as if I am sending them to the battleground of Satan’s sandbox.

However, my children know they’re in the Lord’s army, and each day they put on their armor to prepare for school and any attacks that they may encounter.

I know they are just children, and I won’t exaggerate and say that there are no dents and scratches on that armor. Not to mention, I have to clean and repair it on a daily basis, but I do what I gotta do.

One Christian parent I’m acquainted with faced a battle with the public elementary in regards to a teacher planning to read a “Harry Potter” book each day to the class until its completion.

Although the book is classified as fiction/fantasy, this mother felt the references to Satan and witches was not fiction, and in conflict with her Christian belief.

This mother argued that “Wicca” which is practiced throughout this book, is a religion and religious books are not allowed to be read in the public school.

Therefore, her question to the teacher and administrators was, “why is the school supporting the teacher’s reading of this book? Why not just have the children who want to read the book read it at home?”

The local radio stations and newspaper opinion columns attacked her in the same way Lissa Lee described her experience in her story, “Pickets in Your Pocket.”

In the end her battle was lost. The teacher tried to compensate her daughter by sending her to another classroom to read a book of her choice during the “Harry Potter” story-time.

In other words, her daughter was being humiliated, discriminated and labeled a weirdo because this teacher felt it more important to read “Harry Potter” to her class than find another “fantasy” book to read to the children.

Ironically, I had faced the same type of occurrence, three years prior, only on the other end of the spectrum. Incidentally, the outcome was in favor of the teacher once again.

My son’s assignment was to bring his favorite book to school. He chose the story of “Joseph”. No rules or requirements were sent home with the assignment, so I didn’t’ think it would be a problem.

After he read his favorite story, the teacher sent home a letter berating me for allowing my son to bring in such an inappropriate book to class.

I responded to her letter, but didn’t want to make waves, so I let it go. However, if I knew then what I know now, I would have made sure that the comments of that teacher would have made every newspaper in the state!

To move this story forward, my husband is now an Elementary School Principal and he knows school law very well. Christian parents have many rights within the public school and are unaware of them, and so are the teachers! I advise any parents with children in Public School to get a book on school law to find out the many rights they do have.


Since I’ve found out this information my son and daughter make it their mission to bring God into their public school every opportunity they get. Public School is not only attempting to omit God from its premises, but Satan is slithering his way through every classroom door.

However, not all teachers are unbelievers, nor are principals and administrators. God has placed his believers in every nook and cranny of this world.

It is not easy for me to send my children out into this lion’s den each day, but it is a choice I have made and I believe that God will allow my children to be the salt and the light that God instructs them to be.

My children might be planting seeds that God will turn into beanstalks reaching the Heavens!


Member Comments
Member Date
Lynda Lee Schab 07/26/04
Wendy,
Thanks for this article and the information you provide. Although I'm thankful that the public schools in my area have been described as being "the closest to a Christian school you can get" and most of the teachers are Christians, there are still issues we face that challenge us as Christians. We try to use those things to teach our kids something more important - that God's way is always the right way. I am now determined to become better informed on the rights we have in public schools.
Thanks for bringing this up - it's always a good thing to be reminded of.
Blessings, Lynda Schab
darlene hight07/26/04
Wendy,
This a very thought provoking article. It's one of the toughest calls Christian parents have to make. As a grandparent I have had the opportunity to experience all of the options in schooling and all of them have their benefits and down side. The key is prayer and Christian teachers. If the school becomes a place that is harming or hindering children spiritually,the children should be the first priority not the cause.
Deborah Anderson07/26/04
There's a saying we've all heard before: "You learn something new every day." I did today from your article. Thank you for sharing and God bless you.
John Hunt07/27/04
Very thought provoking and well written. A doleful reminder of the post-Christian society we live in, but also a reminder that we still have rights in this country and need to stand up for them. Well done!
Karen Treharne07/27/04
This was delightful, Wendy. Especially your use of the Satan's sandbox...very appropriate. I admire your commitment to Christ's teachings and your trust in Him to protect and use your children will surely not be in vain. In fact, there are so many blessings that I can imagine will come from this experience, and I will pray that you all will recognize them and give glory to God for His faithfulness.
L.M. Lee07/28/04
WENDY - hurrah for your husband! Christians need to be in positions of authority to help hold the standard high.

Boy, I can relate. When my kids were small I fought many battles with the school board. They knew me on a first name basis and hated to see me coming.

It was hard to put them in public school, knowing what I know, but I didn't have any other option.

I am so thankful we live in a country where parents can choose between, public, private or home.

I pray we keep this nation free!
Angela Moore07/28/04
Thank you! I know that not every environment is going to "Christian friendly" for my children, but it helps to know that other parents understand that too and are equipping their children with high self-esteem, faith in God and enough experience in prayer to make it through, day by day.
Joanne Malley07/28/04
Wendy,

You succeeded at getting all of your important points across with the usual well-written style you posess!
I loved the title and especially enjoyed your last line which offers so much hope!
Lisa Beaman07/30/04
Wendy,
I too prayfully made the decision to send my children to public school. The closer my son got to kindergarten the harder that choice became. He'll now be a 5th grader & we've been without incident yet & I know that he and his sister are both lights for Jesus at school. Great story.