August 28, 2014 | Kacey Chambers |
Written By: Dr. Steve Whitaker, Head of School
It’s not a story from a distant city about people you don’t know. This one is up close and personal. Families in your neighborhood and mine have once again been the victim of political correctness run amok. How is it that a volunteer chaplain for the Olympia High School football team is banned from continuing to serve in his important role?
According to reporter Todd Starnes, “The school district’s crackdown on Christianity is the result of a threat filed by the Freedom From Religion Foundation.” He further added that an OCPS memorandum stated, “Having a team chaplain is not permitted as it is an unconstitutional endorsement of religion in the same manner as a school employee participating in prayer with a student.”
Here’s a brief primer on prayer in schools. Prayer was banned from public schools in 1962. The ban was reaffirmed and was broadened to include graduation ceremonies in 1992. In 2000, the courts outlawed student-led prayer at public high school football games. This week, a big-hearted volunteer from Windermere was told that he was no longer allowed to serve free meals to hungry football players in Jesus’ name and pray with them in the locker room.
So what has happened in public high schools since the 1962 Supreme Court ruling, Engel vs Vitale, banished prayer? Crime has increased and academic performance has decreased. Students are more fearful of walking the halls alone than they are of facing the consequences of their misbehavior. The results speak for themselves.
Darryl Scott, father of a slain Columbine student, said this about prayer in schools while testifying before Congress, “Your laws ignore our deepest needs, your words are empty air. You’ve stripped away our heritage, you’ve outlawed simple prayer. Now gunshots fill our classrooms and precious children die. You seek for answers everywhere, and ask the question ‘why?’ You regulate restrictive laws through legislative creed. And yet you fail to understand that God is what we need.”
This morning as classes began at The First Academy 1,225 students prayed in the name of Jesus. They will do the same thing before lunch. And at every home football game we play this year, we will ask everyone in attendance to stand, bow their heads, and join us in the reciting The Lord’s Prayer. We will pray to the King of kings and the Lord of lords. He is the solution to dysfunctional government, failing schools and sinners like me in need of a Savior.