No Parent Left Behind

I was heading into the library this morning when I ran into one of my friends from church. She was about to meet with the principal of our (enormous) public high school to express her concern over the abuse of drugs by the teens in our community. She wanted to offer her help but felt intimidated because she didn't want to implicate her own kids, who don't consume illegal substances (along with about half the other kids at the school).

"You go, girl," I said. "This is exactly what a Jesus-loving parent should be doing. God will give you the words to encourage and inspire that principal."

Some of us can't afford to send our kids to Christian schools, nor have the time, money, or training to home school them (especially if our kids have recurring nightmares about the latter possibility). Others are dedicated to the principle of public education and the reality of a free-to-all neighborhood school. A few simply can't educate our kids anywhere but in the public schools, especially if they came to us with "special needs." It's no accident that "No Child Left Behind" is the motto for public education — certain children do get left behind, especially those with disabilities, those in poverty, or immigrant kids whose parents don't speak English at home. That's why it's so disheartening to hear Christians condemning and abandoning public schools, and judging us for sending our kids to these so-called "godless" places.

If your child is in Christian school, or being home-schooled, that's great. But for those of you who, like me, are educating our kids in public schools, take heart: "The earth is the LORD's, and everything in it." Including the corner of the public square where our children gather to learn.

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