When schools were locked down during Covid and parents had to help their kids with online classes, many parents were shocked! Some were surprised how “light” the teaching curriculum was. Others saw how online learning bored their kids and parents found it hard to keep them motivated and engaged.
But the biggest surprise for many Christian parents was how their children were being indoctrinated by teaching that was antithetical to a biblical worldview. Most often mentioned were lessons and reading material around LGBTQ questions, sex education in general, critical race theory (CRT) and a clear bias toward liberal views on immigration, politics and reproductive rights.
Many responded by showing up at local school board meetings and voicing their concerns. In too many cases those turned into loud, angry shouting matches that simply hardened school board members against them. I’ve seen the videos of several of these meetings. It's not pretty. I have no idea how many protesting parents were Christians, but it got me thinking about this question.
How should Christians parents “voice” their opinions about topics and teachings they oppose?
We can begin by reflecting on this quote from Paul in the book of Acts “he reasoned with them…” He didn’t shout.
"Let your gentleness be evident to all." Phil. 4:5
The first question I’d ask is, “Which of these topics that concern me do I feel are truly a violation of some biblical teachings as opposed to the philosophical or political views I hold?" In other words is your opposition to say Critical Race Theory based on the Bible or your personal feelings about race history, how it should be taught? Either way, have you personally read and reviewed a proposed CRT curriculum to know exactly what you are opposed to, or have you just read or heard CRT is bad? Christians have to be discerning about which battles are spiritual and which are political? Pray about each topic that concerns you and if and how the Holy Spirit wants you to respond.
If you’re going to attend a school board meeting, I'd suggest write out what you want to say. And bring extra copies for each school board member and some extras for other parents. The videos I’ve watched of parents getting out of control appear to most often happen when speeches are made, school board members' eyes start rolling or other parents shout them down, and things quickly get out of control. Parents who read their presentations usually stay on point and in control.
Remember you represent Christ and un-Christlike behavior not only does not change minds and hearts but it hardens those who oppose you and makes Christians look foolish.
The best weapon in a democracy is the ballet box. Don’t simply complain. Either run for a school board position yourself, or support others you trust.
Keep in mind that almost all teachers are teaching a curriculum chosen by administrators and they themselves may not agree with how every topic is handled. So if you go to a parent teacher conference, ask questions about who chose the curriculum and try to get to the decision makers. The point; Ask questions before you begin making statements or accusations.
"A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
The tongue of the wise adorns knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly."