Jim Daly Christian Blog and Commentary

School's Back in Session, and Values are Put to the Test

  • Jim Daly Jim Daly is president and chief executive officer of Focus on the Family, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping families thrive.
  • 2013 Aug 21

It’s back-to-school time. Kids are filling their backpacks with their new supplies. Parents are taking pictures of smiling children before waving goodbye. Teachers are welcoming their new students. It’s time for these youngsters to learn reading, ’riting and … sexually explicit lessons? The promotion of same-sex relationships and gender confusion? Negative portrayals of some religious beliefs?

Sound a bit too alarmist?

Sadly, that’s what is going to be the case for students in too many classrooms across the nation. While you may be teaching your children or grandchildren a biblically based point of view at home, the reality is they may encounter something completely different when they go to school – oftentimes without parental notification.

More and more schools are incorporating classroom lesson plans from national advocacy groups like the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and Planned Parenthood (here are some eye-opening examples). Sometimes the controversial topics are presented using innocent-sounding terms like “tolerance,” “safe schools,” “health education,” “anti-bullying,” and “family diversity.” The titles may sound innocuous, but the content is anything but.

How do you respond if you find something that’s questionable?

To help, I want to introduce you to our education analyst, Candi Cushman. You may have seen Candi on the CitizenLink Report or even advocating for common-sense approaches to anti-bullying curriculum on national cable news channels like Headline News.

Candi is a tireless advocate for parents and students. Through True Tolerance, Candi helps to create resources that enable parents to safeguard their kids from adult agendas in schools. Candi also oversees Day of Dialogue, which helps equip Christian students who want to share God’s truth with their classmates.

To mark the start of this new school year, Candi has led the effort to provide parents with a free resource designed to help them walk through the challenges associated with questionable curriculum and school activities. Moms and dads can download “Empowering Parents,” a how-to guide, at truetolerance.org. Just click on the “Free Resource for Parents” button at the top of the page.

I understand this is a tough topic. It can be uncomfortable to talk about such sensitive issues. But I urge you to prayerfully consider the information I’ve provided in this post. I hope that your child’s school isn’t one of those places where kids are taught things contrary to their faith and their family’s values. But if it is – and it might be – then may I encourage you to consider using the resources we offer to respond in a way that’s winsome, fact-based and firm?

In Malachi 2:15, we are told that God wants us to raise godly children. That task, which is already challenging, becomes even more difficult when our kids are immersed in a school culture that directly contradicts the biblical truth we try to impart to them. When you make the decision to engage your local school on these issues, you are doing two things: you’re taking a stand for God’s truth and you’re modeling to your kids how to engage the culture well. Your children will benefit from both.

As children across the country start the new school year, know that the teams at Focus on the Family and CitizenLink are praying for you. We trust a powerful God who is greater than anything our kids may encounter in the world.

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