I actually learned a lot in my conservative, small-town public school where virtually every well-intentioned teacher, as far as I knew, as well as the principal, was a self-proclaimed Christian. We still had devotions over the intercom and Teens for Christ meetings in the morning.
I graduated a smiling Homecoming Queen, a cheerleader, with an Advanced diploma, a college scholarship and a semester of college already finished. And completely, utterly, broken. But I learned things.
In my sociology class in the 10th grade, I learned about the relative value of human life in a project where we were given a disaster/survival scenario and had to choose who got to live. Would it be the 24 year old doctor, or the 87 year old grandmother? That’s literally the only thing I remember about my sociology class.
In my Home Economics class in the ninth grade I learned about birth control. Because everyone knows it would be silly to teach 14 year olds that sex before marriage is wrong. I did not learn to sew.
In my Literature class, which I dearly loved, I learned that there aren’t really any moral absolutes, but rather, each individual should make decisions based on his unique circumstance. We discussed most all of the political and social issues of the day. Without our parents but with someone else’s worldview leading the conversation.
In the hallways I learned about sexual overtones, groping when no adults were looking, and bad words, just to mention a few.
Thankfully, I didn’t learn much about drugs because “back in my day”, drugs were done by the group of “really bad kids” and they were pretty secretive about it. I don’t think that’s the case anymore.
At break, I learned about sexual acts that I would NEVER repeat publicly. But I learned them in the context of “this is what everyone does and it’s fun” not so much about diseases, pregnancy and permanent scars for life that will follow you into your marriage.
In P.E. I learned that the athletic and popular kids had worth; everyone else just had to make do and form their own cliques to survive.
Overall I learned that teachers were stupid, parents were stupid and if you want to be popular, which was really the most important thing in a teenager’s life, there are just certain things you do to fit in.
I chucked 12 years of intense Christian teaching and influence by my parents, former teachers and mentors for the temporary popularity of high school.
I became a companion of fools and I suffered much harm.
I gave my heart to my peers while my parents begged, “My daughter, give me your heart.” (Proverbs 23:26) Their words fell on empty ears.
My point in this post is to say that we have chosen to not place our children in public school because from our simple experiences and observations, our parents weren’t able to train us in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, though they tried. There was too much conflicting noise and confusion, too many vying for our affection.
And while nothing is guaranteed to us, regardless of our choices, I do believe that fact in no way removes our obligation to walk as carefully and obediently as possible.
I believe choices have consequences in the context of God’s sovereignty.
If God has commanded us to teach our children about Him, I believe that means we cannot relinquish their education to the state, wherein it has explicitly denied God and His lordship over our lives. Such is subjecting our children to walk in the counsel of the ungodly, (Psalm 1:1) and to be under the teaching of false doctrine (humanism).
If God has commanded that we walk with the wise and not become companions of fools, I believe we have an obligation to help our children do just that, while they are growing and maturing in Christ, walking with them as we minister to the lost, but not giving them to walk alongside the unfruitful works of darkness. (Ephesians 5:11, 1 Corinthians 15:33)
We have been made to accept public school as a privilege and a necessity, but I believe that as a Christian parent, it is my duty to instruct my children in the way they should go, and that, by nature, rules out an education not devoted to the fear of the Lord. (Proverbs 1:7)