Over the next few days, I will reveal problems which live in our educational system. Those situations represent all four points of view found in “RESCUE THE TEACHER, SAVE THE CHILD!”: students, parents, teachers and administrators.
Problem #6: We can no longer teach as if children are equipped with a moral compass or they understand the sanctity of life.
In 1962 when God was asked to vacate the public schools, one of the best arguments for keeping church and state separated was children would receive their religious teachings from their church, synagogue or temple. And of course, their parents would first and foremost provide their children with the basics of humankind: do unto others as you would have them do unto you, known as the Golden Rule. Those teachers in today’s educational trenches will tell you the loss of civility amongst our children is the lack of any moral compass from either religious institutions or parents. The reason? Churches, synagogues and temples are struggling to keep children and teenagers attending. Parents find themselves struggling to keep their heads above water. Somewhere in the chaos, they forget or ignore their responsibility to teach their children to discern right from wrong. In my experience, my troubled students were a product of disconnected parents.
When I began teaching in 1971, in my wildest dreams, I could not conjure a school shooting. Even after Columbine, I was sure that fateful day would remain a once in a lifetime hideous event. But in the final five years of my last position, I worried almost everyday that my school could become the next statistic. In fact, it continues to blow my mind, after a shooting, when kids and adults from that school take to the evening news with remarks, “We never thought it could happen to us.” How could you not believe your school is next? The whole scenario of someone wanting to kill innocent children feels as if it would be a better script for a horror movie than real life. And yes, that is one of the problems. Our children, while engulfed in animated violence on their daily screens, have lost the sanctity of life.
What religious teachings do the public schools adopt? Whose God shall be represented? How do we help children empathize with their peers and adults? Tune in tomorrow. I have answers. Or you could take a break and enjoy a summer read which addresses these situations and provides solutions. Rescue the Teacher, Save the Child! is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.