I was having a conversation with a group of people recently on the subject of prayer in the public schools. One person asked me for my opinion on should we have prayer in the public schools?
Of course I think we should have prayer in the schools just like we need Jesus in the homes of men and women.
Urban Conservative educators are the way of the future in public schooling in this country. We should not just push prayer in schools but also teaching some form of intelligent design (I mentioned this last year when Dick DeVos discussed it during his Gubernatorial run in Michigan) as well as demonstrating high standards in our classrooms.
Urban Conservatives need to oppose any form of degeneration of our public schools. We need to get beyond the banality of the self-comforting self and the superficiality of a compassion that always ends in a government program. We need to expose the deliberate leveling of our people by the liberals who are in charge of our education. The best way to do that is to be explicit about the conservative end of education.
Take a look at public schools in Detroit, Benton Harbor or Flint for instance. No God and more violence. Less home economics classes as well as etiquette courses and more discussion on ghetto life.
At present, urban conservatives advocate school policies such as more discipline, learning by rote, going back to the basics, teaching right and wrong, and making teachers accountable. They promote changes such as vouchers and charter schools designed to liberate our schools from unions and liberal bureaucrats. These are reforms worth fighting for, but it is tempting to invest too much in them by treating them as ends in themselves.
The key for us is to keep our eyes on the end beyond: the content of our education. We get a glimpse of this end in the general concern over falling standards in education. Though many deplore the obvious relaxation that comes with easy grading, only conservatives raise it as an issue. Here above all we witness the amazing decline in our time of liberalism as a philosophy of education.
In our public schools today there are rampant Gay and Lesbian gangs running the public schools, high drop out rate, low graduation rates (Detroit only graduates 25% while the DPS system has lied in public and graduate 61%), the lack of parental involvement and no spiritual guidance.
Why morality is needed in our Detroit Schools today? Did you look at former CEO William Coleman, who was indicated in Texas? Does he look like a man of God?
Although members of the Republican Party as a whole have been more inclined to support a school prayer amendment than their Democratic brethren, the party has by no means stood unified on the issue.
But for Black Republicans who I have discussed this issue with they stand 100% on the issue of instituting school prayer in the classrooms. After all, any time you have a crisis that faces you either in your personal life or as we have now in our country, reaching out to a supreme being is a very normal act.
Our children should be taught such values as patriotism, self-discipline, thrift, honesty, and that there is a moral difference between the United States and North Korea. In the Black Community the teaching of values and ethics in our public schools should be an integral part of the curriculum. The values on which there is wide agreement, for example, honesty, courage, humility, kindness, generosity, and patriotism have been eliminated from many texts. With so many fatherless homes and over 70% of households in our community are headed by single parents (mostly females) we need to re instill moral values in the schools to get rid of the ghetto culture that has ravaged our community.
Perhaps the clearest example is from our President, Ronald Reagan, who had this to say about education's basic purpose: "We're beginning to realize, once again, that education at its core is more than just teaching our young the skills that are needed for a job, however important that is. It's also about passing on to each new generation the values that serve as the foundation and cornerstone of our free democratic society--patriotism, loyalty, faithfulness, courage, the ability to make the crucial moral distinctions between right and wrong, the maturity to understand that all that we have and achieve in this world comes first from a beneficent and loving God."
Why stress the importance of moral character education in our public schools today?
Why is the home and church not sufficient for this task? We know that children are impressionable. Their minds and attitudes are forming as they grow. They learn attitudes, morals, and values from both adults and peers, but especially from adults. This is because of the human propensity to respect and obey authority figures, a trait that is impressed into children very early in life, and which also was selected for during human evolution because of the increased survival value it gave human populations. Teachers are adults who children learn from, identify with, and emulate. These authority figures spend a considerable portion of the day with each individual child, more so than the parents in many instances, and certainly more than most churches can provide. Teachers can reinforce proper morals and values in children to a great extent. If a child is not learning proper morals and values at home or in the church, which is in fact the situation to an alarming extent today in the United States, the teacher may be the only authority figure with whom the child has contact and who can inculcate the proper morals and values. Even if a child receives the proper training at home or church, I believe it is important for a teacher to reinforce moral instruction so that the child's total environment works for the same worthwhile end.
Today our children are exposed to such nonsense such as the ghetto culture, Flava of Love, Charm School on Vh1, New York from Flava of Love, Black Supremacy, Black liberal press, BAMN, liberal churches and Black organizations who uses race as a wedge issue against whites and other races of people.
The situation is so dire in Detroit that Rep. Shanelle Jackson has even proposed a bill in the State House to allow meditation to occur in the schools for the children. As an educator, I can clearly see why that is necessary.
We all need prayer in our hearts and schools. Let's make it happen.