Kim and I were recently at a pastors' conference in Washington, DC, to talk to them about the important role they play in helping their local public schools become faith-friendly. One pastor told us of an all-too-common incident in the life of one of the children in his church. An elementary school teacher told the student she couldn't write about Jesus. There was nothing particularly shocking about this. We hear stories all the time about teachers who mistakenly think their classrooms have to be "religion-free zones."
What shocked us was what the pastor said next.
"Everyone in our church assumed the teacher was right," he explained. "We didn't know any different."
He was delighted to learn that the teacher was wrong -- that the child does, indeed, have freedom of religious expression at school. He was thrilled to receive Gateways' Free to Speak pamphlet quoting the U.S. Department of Education regarding students' religious liberties. And we also counseled him on how to approach the teacher in a positive way.
This conversation is a good example of just how important it is that our churches understand the truth about religious and academic freedom regarding the Bible and Christianity in public schools.
That is why I urge you to bring Gateways' seminars for educators and parents to your area. On a Saturday morning, we will present "Faith, Freedom & Public Schools" to teachers and school leaders. That same weekend we will also present our seminar for parents, "Keeping Their Faith in Public Schools: How to help your children graduate with their faith and values intact".
Help the Schools in Your Community
At the educators' seminar teachers and school leaders will learn what the law REALLY says about including the Bible and Christianity in their classrooms. They'll also learn specific strategies to teach about these topics appropriately and within state and federal guidelines. In my experience, teachers' jaws drop as they realize how misinformed they have been. They are delighted to learn specific ways to teach about the importance of America's Christian heritage.
At the parent seminar parents will learn about their children's religious freedoms, the five criteria for knowing if they should remove their child from a classroom activity, how to talk to a teacher about a concern, and how to teach their children to be discerning about what they are learning.
To find out more about bringing the seminars to your community, call (800) 929-1163 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.