Evidence of anti-Christian bias in many public schools

     Your school tax dollars going to promote anti-Christian bias: In Wisconsin a Tomah Area school district teacher refused to give a student a grade on a project because his work included "John 3:16" as well as "A sign of love." The school district, however, openly acknowledged and publicized various pieces of art representing Buddhism, and Hinduism as well as several demon faces that appeared satanic. The school defended its actions: "Respect for the beliefs of a diverse student population … requires that the district treat all students equitable and fairly regardless of their faith," it said in a website statement. Treated equitable and fairly, that is, unless they are Bible believers. The Alliance Defense Fund, which has taken on the case of a student identified by the initials A. P., said the teacher’s grading policy banned depictions of "blood, violence, sexual connotations, [or] religious beliefs." But in practice it was a discriminatory policy, the ADF said in a court motion seeking an immediate injunction against the school. "Allowing demonic depictions by some students while prohibiting Christian religious expression in artwork by others is a blatant violation of the Constitution," said David Cortman, senior ADF legal counsel. The law firm said the district displays artwork reflecting Hindu, Buddhist and satanic themes all over. A motion has been filed by the ADF in a Wisconsin court to suspend immediately the policy in the school district that bans Christian symbols in students’ artwork, but allows Hindu, Buddhist and satanic representations.

     More school tax dollars going to promote anti-Christian bias: Students at the Mount Vernon, OH, school district have called a ‘take-your-Bible-to-school day" tomorrow in support of a popular teacher who has been ordered to keep his Bible hidden while students are in his classroom. The dispute arose, when school officials gave orders for middle-school science teacher John Freshwater to hide his Bible from students and Freshwater decided not to comply. School Board president Ian Watson told World Net Daily that the Bible was just part of a "tapestry" of issues the district was dealing with, but he said he could not provide details on other factors. He did admit that the order for Freshwater to remove the Bible from his desk, where he’s kept it for more than two decades while teaching in the district, was prompted because of contacts from some district parents. But again, he declined to elaborate. In an interview with WND, Watson accused Freshwater of "going public" with issues the school "is in discussions with attorneys at this stage." "We just asked him that the Bible not be on top of his desk during his teaching hours," Watson told WND. However, he also admitted that the school had no formal prohibitions on personal items on teachers’ desks. When asked how the school arrived at a ban on Freshwater’s personal Bible being on his own desk, Watson said, "I do not know how to answer." The district’s formal statement on the dispute said: "The Mount Vernon Schools today directed one of its middle school science teachers to remove from his classroom the 10 Commandments he had displayed and to remove his Bible from his desktop while students were in his room. The Mount Vernon Schools has not taken this action because it opposes religion, but because it has an obligation under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution to protect against the establishment of religion in the schools. As a public school system the district cannot teach, promote or favor any religion or religious beliefs." But apparently they can promote or favor anti-Christian beliefs. Coach Dave Daubenmire said the school’s demand amounts to an ongoing viewpoint discrimination, since a Muslim woman would not be ordered to hide her head covering from students’ view. Daubenmire said, however, the school’s demands go far beyond making sure it doesn’t "establish religion" and reaches the level of a "continuous purging of Christianity."

     Follow up on the previous note: On Apr. 23, 2008, WorldNetDaily.com reported that the Ohio school district under fire for telling a teacher to hide his personal Bible when students are present has released a long list of accusations against the teacher, ranging from preaching in class to "branding" students, and says it is hiring an investigator. The case arose last week when officials with the Mount Vernon, Ohio, school district ordered teacher John Freshwater to remove a Ten Commandments representation from a collage on his classroom wall and told him he must hide his personal Bible from students. The issue sparked a student-organized campaign using cell phones, text messaging and e-mails for a "take-your-Bible-to-school day." Students also wore Christian-themed T-shirts for a rally on behalf of the teacher. School Board president Ian Watson earlier told WND the Bible was just part of a "tapestry" of issues the district was dealing with, but at that time he said he could not provide details on other factors. Now the school district has released a laundry list of accusations to the Columbus Dispatch newspaper. Administrators told the newspaper Freshwater is accused of holding a religious "healing session" during school and burning crosses onto students’ arms. The "healing" happened when Freshwater was a chaperone for a Christian student-athlete group (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) and a guest speaker was ill, the newspaper said. The report said Freshwater called for his healing. The newspaper also reported a boy was "branded" during a science class when Freshwater asked for volunteers to see how an electrical device worked. On the newspaper’s forums page, Celia Dawkins wasn’t waiting for any investigation. "I do not send my children to school to be subjected to proselytizing or bad science or incorrect history. This man does not belong in any classroom and should have his teaching license taken away. He is a religious predator," she wrote. But a followup from "anonymous" defended Freshwater. "No, Mr. Freshwater does not deliberately ‘brand’ students. That is the most trumped up charge yet. Absolutely ridiculous. It is a ‘zapping’ type machine that shows the current of electricity. My son said you can put your hand in the ‘lighting bolt’ IF YOU WANT TO. Other teachers in the school system use this as well and have used it for years. The administration was right to not make a big deal of this in December. The kid’s parents are going overboard. I’m sorry one student got ‘burned’, but Mr. F. does NOT burn crosses as a religious exercise. That makes him sound like an idiot. Furthermore, the Bibles in his room are because he is the FCA leader. Kids can come in and get a Bible to give to a friend IF THEY WANT TO. Does the art club leader have to take down all artwork in her room? And does the chess club leader have to remove all chess boards?" the comment said. Fellow teacher, Dave Daubenmeier, a coach, said that the release of such allegations was a calculated effort on the part of the board. "What you’re seeing is a classic example of character assassination … to release nothing more than allegations and say now they’re going to investigate," Daubenmire said. A statement on the Minutemen United website accused the district of skirting the First Amendment issue. "For those of you who have ever done battle with government schools you know that you should always wear your head gears, pads – and a cup," the statement said. "Public schools are not familiar with losing and have a reputation of doing whatever it takes to continue their dominance over your child’s life." The organization continued, "Instead of addressing the supposed church state separation issue with regard to a public school teacher’s right to bring his Bible to school, the Mt. Vernon School Board – in a time honored tradition – have chosen instead to attack the teacher’s character."

2008 Greater St. Louis Area Home Educators Expo

     (We recently finished the Third Annual Greater St. Louis Area Home Educators Expo, Apr. 10-12, 2008. Karen and I are members of the board. I am the speaker coordinator, and Karen is the lodging coordinator. The following article about the Expo appeared in some of the Suburban Journals, local weekly newspapers in the St. Louis area, on Tues, April 8, 2008. Kerrie Tate, our advertising and hospitality coordinator, said that nearly all the local press interest in the Expo centered on the special needs section.)

Expo attracts homeschool family, plus those with special needs:

     The Greater St. Louis Area Home Educator’s Expo will be held April 10 to 12 at the First Evangelical Free Church of St. Louis County, 1375 Carman Road, Manchester. The expo will feature nationally known and local speakers, more than 70 exhibitors, a special needs area, youth seminars and a children’s expo. Thursday night events from 5 to 9 p.m. are free, while admission from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday is $10 a person ($20 at the door), $30 for a family of three or more ($40 at the door). Kerri Tate, a member of the steering committee for the expo, says the weekend’s topics have developed a dual emphasis. One is for the homeschooling family, but a second is for people challenged by special needs.While many speakers will touch on the relationship of foods and performance, two seminars are devoted to it. At 10 a.m. Friday, Dr. Amy Davis will talk about food allergies and their impact on health, behavior and learning. She will show through actual examples how detection and treatment of food allergies benefited children. On Saturday, Kim Perry, who has homeschooled four children, will share ways to focus on foods and resources for a family member who cannot tolerate gluten or casein. She will speak at 2:30 p.m. All expo information, speakers and registration are found on the Web site http://www.stlhomeschoolexpo.com .

The Old Schoolhouse Magazine

     To paraphrase Will Rogers, I never met a homeschool magazine that I didn’t like, but The Old Schoolhouse ( www.TheHomeschoolMagazine.com ) is my absolute, all-time favorite. The Spring, 2008, issue is out, and it is chocked full of excellent material, including some articles about the fire-storm brewing over the California homeschool-related court ruling; columns by Senior Editor Deborah Wuehler and General Editor Donna Rees; information about homeschooling in Pakistan and Brazil; interviews with The Wise Guide for Spelling instructor Britta McColl and Phonics Plus Five creator Dr. Marion Blank; tributes to homeschool moms and dads; E-book reviews by Heidi Strawser; Excellence in Education awards; material about homeschooling the preschooler; product reviews; several other regular features; and a great deal of other informative and useful items. There is truly something for everyone in The Old Schoolhouse!

anti-homeschooling, ant-creationism comments

     In an Apr. 9, 2008, American Chronicle article entitled "Homeschoolers who don’t learn science shouldn’t receive a diploma," Steve Shives lambasted homeschooling and especially studying science from a creationist viewpoint.

     He began, "There are many, many things I find dubious about the practice of parents homeschooling their children. I wonder how a mother or father who has not been educated as a teacher, who in many cases has not even been to college her/himself, can possibly provide their child with as good an education as students receive in our much-maligned public schools. And I can´t help but think that these homeschool students, of whom there are several million in the United States, are being robbed of a crucial formative experience by not attending school with other people their age and being forced to interact with a diverse group of peers."

     And that was just for starters. He continued, "Most disturbing is the virulent strain of religious fundamentalism that is found in the lessons being taught homeschooled children, especially in the United States. Not all American homeschooling is religious—that´s not what I´m saying. I´ve known people personally who were homeschooled from a secular curriculum, and there are many others like them throughout the country. I think I´m safe in saying, however, that the majority of homeschooling in the U.S. is religious—specifically, fundamentalist Christian—in nature. This is no big secret."

     Apparently he is not disburbed by the virulent strain of radical secularism that is found in the lessons being taught public school children. Of course, that it because he appears to be a radical secular humanist.

     He goes on, "The area of study most affected by the Christian bent of homeschooling is science. The religion of the guy who wrote the textbook might not matter a whole lot when you´re studying geometry or reading Romeo and Juliet, but it comes into play in a big way when you hit high school-level biology. Homeschool parents who get their biology curriculum from sources like Apologia are not teaching their children science. They are giving them a Sunday School lesson."

     This is an example of "the big lie." The evolutionists think that if they can repeat, "Evolution is science, creation is religion," long and loud enough, then that will, presto-chango!, make it true.

     Again, he says, "Instead of evolutionary biology, which has been the keystone of the life sciences for over 150 years, homeschool students are taught creationism—that the God of the Bible personally created the universe more or less as described in the Book of Genesis. There are several varieties of creationism—Young Earth, Old Earth, Omphalosian, Neo—all thoroughly discredited. Increasingly, it is dressed in the pseudoscientific trappings of intelligent design. Whatever its proponents choose to call it, regardless of the intellectual contortions it performs to make the Biblical creation account plausible, it isn´t science and it should never be taught as such. But it is taught as science to millions of children and teenagers all over the country."

     This is simply not true. It is another case of "the big lie." If you say something untrue–that creation science has been "discredited"–over and over and over again, you can convince yourself and perhaps others that it is true.

     He makes another observation about a course offered by the Mason Dixon Homeschoolers Association in Pennsylvania. "There is also an ALPS course entitled Physical Science, again using an Apologia textbook, whose course description promises to ‘especially concentrate on the myths generated by the hysterical environmentalist movement.’ Clearly, there are axes to grind here; clearly, the education of the students is not a paramount concern."

     As if there aren’t axes to grind in the "evolution as a fact" (even though many evolutionists themselves admit that it simply is uproven and cannot be proven) and "global warming is true" (even though thirty years ago some of the same scientists, or at least their naturalistic, evolutionary predecessors were claiming that "global cooling" was coming and we were in for another ice age) presentations of "science falsely so called" in public schools.

     Then he says, "The description of the Physical Science course also claims ‘It is an excellent course for preparing the student to take a college prep high school science curriculum.’ I can tell you as a firsthand eyewitness that this is total c—. When I took a basic college-level general biology course last year, one of my classmates was a girl who had attended a Christian private school. Instead of legitimate science, she had been taught creationism, and thus didn´t know the first thing about what actual biological theory tells us regarding the origins of the universe and the development of life on Earth. She was not a stupid person, but her religious fundamentalist teachers had prevented her from learning some of the most rudimentary scientific knowledge. She may have been prepared to continue her academic career at Liberty University, but a first-year community college course in real science was utterly beyond her grasp."

     YES! It is "biological theory" (someone’s guess!) NOT facts, true science, that says anything about the origins of the universe or the development of life on Earth. And, by the way, I have talked to homeschooled students who had studied Apologia science courses and said that they were well prepared when they went on to college–even secular colleges.

     Then, in an Apr. 11, 2008, followup article, Shives "apologized" to those secular homeschoolers who teach evolution for lumping them in with "religious nutcases" (that was part of the title of the article, "And for you homeschool types who aren’t religious nutcases") but felt he had to add, "Don´t get me wrong — I´m not suddenly on the homeschool bandwagon here. I know our public education in the U.S. is in a terrible state, and I can certainly understand why some parents would rather teach their kids themselves than send them to school. I´d still be more comfortable with children being taught by teachers who have been to college and mastered their subjects than well-meaning parents who are simply following a lesson plan."

    Unfortunately, even in our public schools one cannot always guarantee that the teachers have truly mastered their subjects.

     After citing some examples of "religious homeschoolers" (mostly Unitarians) who teach evolution, he concluded,  "I wish more homeschoolers were taught from sources like Becoming Human rather than Apologia, and I wish states would alter their standards to require real science education before recognizing diplomas. Until those things happen, though, I´m happy and a little relieved to know that there are people out there like Dawn, Theresa, and the HUU, teaching their children at home, the right way. " 

     Apparently, the author has never seen an Apologia science course. As one who has used Apologia science, I can say that Dr. Jay Wile, a former evolutionary scientist who is now a Bible-believing scientist, deals thoroughly with the all the arguments and so-called "evidence" for and against evolution. In fact, I would argue that the reason why the rabid anti-creation science and anti-intelligent design proponents hate homeschooling in general and curricula like Apologia in particular is that they must be deeply afraid that when all the evidence is actually examined, the arguments for Darwinism and evolution will be seen for what they really are, weak and pathetic.

Some quotes from the founding fathers

      "If men are so wicked with religion, what would they be if without it?" (Benjamin Franklin, to Thomas Paine, Date Unknown). "I own myself the friend to a very free system of commerce, and hold it as a truth, that commercial shackles are generally unjust, oppressive and impolitic" (James Madison). "Children should be educated and instructed in the principles of freedom" (John Adams, Defense of the Constitution, 1787). And John Adams also said this. "There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty" (Wow! I had no idea that John Adams knew Hillary Clinton or Barak Obama.) Here is another good quote from a slightly later generation. "Let the American youth never forget, that they possess a noble inheritance, bought by the toils, and sufferings, and blood of their ancestors; and capacity, if wisely improved, and faithfully guarded, of transmitting to their latest posterity all the substantial blessings of life, the peaceful enjoyment of liberty, property, religion, and independence" (Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution, 1833, p. 718).

How do evolutionists interpret Proverbs 22:6?

     It’s so important for believers to pay attention to this verse. Christian parents must give their children a firm foundation on the Bible and its practical truths. But evolutionists also understand what this verse means. They want to teach children that we’re just animals who evolved through millions of years of death and suffering. Just think of the morality that goes with that! Yet the U.S. government gives evolutionists millions of dollars to "train up children" in their anti-Christian worldview. Some Christian parents think that as long as they take their children to church on Sunday morning, they’ll learn a worldview based on the Bible. But think about it: one or two hours in church—once a week—simply isn’t a match for five days in a public school . . . plus secular TV, evolutionary science museums, and so on. So, evolutionists are trying to "train up a child"—your child! We must teach young people to stand on God’s Word—from the very first verse. [From a weekly look at answersingenesis.org ; April 5, 2008, newsletter ; www.answersingenesis.org .]  Praise the Lord for homeschooling!!!

More goings on in public schools

     A newspaper report from Tampa, FL, on Apr. 3, 2008, said that before a Davidsen Middle School teacher, Stephanie Ragusa, 28, started a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old student, she told the boy she could help him overcome his shyness, according to a new court filing. When the teacher broke her foot and was confined to a wheel chair, the boy was assigned to escort her around the school, detectives wrote in their request for a search warrant filed in Hillsborough Circuit Court. Ragusa told the boy when they got into the elevator that she noticed he was "shy and she could break him of that," the warrant states. Then, it says, she invited him to go to her apartment after school instead of attending an after-school program. At her apartment, they had what the boy described to police as "consensual" sex. Ragusa then took him back to school in time to be picked up by his step-mother. Over the next several weeks, detectives wrote, Ragusa and the boy spoke over the phone. One night, while the boy’s parents were sleeping, the teacher picked him up around the corner from his house and they had sex in the back seat of her silver Lexus SUV, the report states. Their sexual relationship lasted from October, 2006 to May 2007, detectives said. Ragusa has been suspended from her teaching job. Then, on the same day, a television news report from Manhattan, KS, said that the Manhattan school board fired high school teacher Katherine Harder, who is accused of having sex with a male student. Harder had resigned her job after police reported that a sheriff’s deputy found her with a 17-year-old boy in a parked car at the Tuttle Creek Dam. But then the 31-year-old language arts teacher rescinded her resignation. She had been booked into the Pottawatomie County Jail on March 26 and was released on $3,000 bond the next day. Teenagers can legally consent to sex at age 16. But it’s a felony in Kansas for teachers to have a consensual sexual relationship with a student of any age who attends the school where they work. Such offenses also are grounds for losing a teaching license. Thankfully, the Manhattan school board acted responsibly, but, again, thank God for homeschooling!