Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Are they schools or are they prisons? Kevin Probst

I’ve spent nearly 30 years of my life as an educator. Had I the opportunity to do it over again I would not choose any other profession. It has been a most enjoyable experience to help mold the minds and hearts of young people who will be tomorrow’s leaders. I’ve never dreaded Monday mornings like so many in the workforce. I was born to teach and I’m grateful I’ve had the opportunity to spend most of my life doing what I love most.

Would I advise my students to become teachers? I often struggle with that question. If they are Christians who choose teaching as a lifetime profession they may have to teach in government schools or universities where the environment is hostile to God

Christians in public institutes of education are now being punished if they don’t conform to the humanism being taught. Julea Ward, who was enrolled in the counseling program at East Michigan State University, was expelled because she felt compelled to counsel homosexuals using her own biblical worldview rather than the humanistic worldview of the university. Jennifer Keeton, a student at Augusta State University in Georgia was warned that the school would withhold her degree from her unless she ceased witnessing for Christ to the other students.

We like to divide our world into two realms, that which is sacred and that which is secular. Isn’t that really a misnomer? Isn’t God sovereign over his entire creation? All the world belongs to God and the two existing realms include that which is sacred and that which is rebellious. The ‘secular’ school system in America has revealed its rebellion toward God by embracing humanism. Our children are trained that the government is the Big Brother who will take care of them from womb to tomb. (Socialism) God is extracted from the science classes and history classes. They teach that the solution to our problems is not God, it lies in the ingenuity of man and his ability to use new technology. We put a man on the moon, we found a cure for polio, we’ve even developed an efficient, man-made heart to replace the one provided by God. Man has taken precedence while God has been relegated to the back burner.

Many Christian teachers are hopeful that their efforts in government schools can help bring about reform. They deserve much applause for their efforts but the religion of the schools is humanism and our institutions are so infested with it that reform seems impossible. When God saw that reform or repentance was not an option, he destroyed man with a flood. Many believe there is no reform option, the only hope for the present system is to deconstruct it and rebuild. The phenomenal rise in charter schools, private schools and homeschooling indicate the desperation in America for a better system to educate its youth.

I taught several years in an inner-city school. I learned soon after my arrival that it wasn’t so much about academics. It was more about monitoring disruptive classrooms. Your skills as a disciplinarian were far more valuable than your skills in academia. Some inner city schools seem to be in essence, de facto prisons. Students often park their cars in a fenced in lot that isn’t unlocked until 3:30 PM when they are paroled home. The inmates are herded from room to room at certain time intervals. They stand in line to receive food and eat off of plastic cafeteria trays. They are lined up during certain times of the day for a corporate visit to the restroom. The monitor decides who does and doesn’t speak. The inmates often fight with each other and there are certain ones always at risk to escape the compound. There is frequent rebellion against those in charge of the facility. Armed security guards patrol the passageways. Guns and weapons are confiscated along with drugs and drug paraphernalia.

Serious students must ask themselves: Just what am I being prepared for, prison?

There are better ways to educate. But they will be elusive until we truly put the child first and invite God back to the classroom.  (For more on public schools)


  1. I whole-heartedly agree. The only thing separating prison from your average jo public school is freedom and where is freedom in no longer being able to voice your own opinion.
    What has happened to public schools and colleges that freedom of speech is no longer in action and the name of God is forbidden. I cannot wait for the day when every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord!

  2. To an extent I do agree with this. I just wonder where the heart of all of this is coming from-how many teachers in the inner-city schools honestly get to know the students? I guarantee that more than 1/2 of those kids that make body guards rather than teachers needed have other issues that cause them to act that way. Domestic violence, parents that are abusive, unloving influences, or nicely put, "bad examples." I believe also that our society has very low expectations for teenagers. In fact in most songs its put out there that teen girls will just fall for anyone that says, "I love you" (I.E. Taylor Swift- Fifteen)how high of a standard does culture and society hold for people my age? I feel, hardly any. So on one hand schools are made that way because of the behavior and the behavior can be derived from home related on goings or just simply, teens acting the way they feel society will let them get away with. Colossians 3:23, "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men..."

  3. i would also have to agree with this. Teachers-prison guards, students-prisoners what is the difference? You can read your Bible in your jail cell but you can't pull out your Bible in the middle of class in a public school. You can quote scripture to your fellow inmates but you are know as a weirdo if you do it to your closest friends. To me jail seems better with the Lord then a high school. In jail you can attend a church where you learn more about Jesus Christ but in public schools you can't even mention the name....