Many dangers lurk for children after they reach school, including bullies, drug users (and pushers) and sadly even sexual predators.
Recently, I corresponded with an individual who was introduced to marijuana and methamphetamines by school companions at age 12. He is now an adult serving a lengthy term in prison.
What can you do to protect your child?
The Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center provides excellent advice to parents about keeping children safe. Its article, "Parents Need to Talk to Children About Safety When Sending Them Back to School" covers issues such as walking to school, riding bicycles, traveling by school bus and even after-school security.
Most parents are at least somewhat aware of these important issues. But awareness of an equally important safety issue is not so common.
A hidden danger
Once children survive the dangers of traveling to and from school, as well as other dangers in the shadow of the school building, are they safe in the classroom?
That is, will they be safe spiritually and mentally?
Schools teach some basic character values such as teamwork and good citizenship in the early years. But after elementary school, education deals mostly with facts and figures—head knowledge. Don't misread this as an slight against teachers but as a frank assessment of reality.
However, schools now are also centers for disseminating an outlook on life—an outlook that either fails to support or directly challenges a biblical worldview. For more enlightening information I suggest you read John Daugherty's report on how today's "... liberal speakers outnumber conservative voices at the nation's top universities graduation ceremonies by a wide margin."
My concern is not with politics, but rather with the attendant political correctness—the philosophy advocating that determining right or wrong depends upon circumstances or upon one's personal opinion.
This way of thinking could be as unsafe for your children as a schoolyard drug pusher. It is the worst security issue you could imagine!
The consequences affect children for the rest of their lives—not just in earning a living, but also in managing life. Many people earn a good living today, but simply can't deal with life itself.
The danger is that your child could be pushed away from God. Today's political correctness demands separation from Christian values.
War against God
Public education today typically resists any mention of God as Creator, as well as of Intelligent Design. It's popular to reject any universal authority over human behavior.
The largely federally funded Public Broadcast System coaches educators on promoting evolution as the only acceptable scientific explanation for life and on how to avoid bringing religion into the discussion.
Sending your child to school is a chancy thing. Many things can happen. Overnight a susceptible child can seem to slip out of your realm of influence and into the different universe of influence from peers and teachers.
Will what your child hears reinforce your beliefs, your values, the lessons you have so carefully taught? Or will it challenge and mock your family's values and beliefs?
Prepare your child
You've probably heard some variation of this famous statement, "Chance favors the prepared mind." It was actually said by Louis Pasteur about scientific issues, but it also pertains to our subject.
There are steps that you can take to prepare your children for knowing how to respond to this even greater safety issue. And, we can help you.
Introduce your children to our engaging magazine for older teenagers and young adults, Vertical Thought. It includes contributions from people in those age groups, and the editorial staff is comprised of counselors and clergy who have a solid record of successful work with youths.
We are aware of the anti-God prejudice that will confront most students, and we often address scientific topics in our magazine The Good News, showing that there is no conflict between God and true science.
Look up The Good News magazine's archives and use the onsite search engine for words such as "science" and "archaeology." Help your children use this resource. On the same Web site, you will find this related booklet: Creation or Evolution: Does It Really Matter What You Believe?
Too often parents think the best thing they can do is provide "things" for their children. And that's what the parents are thinking a lot about in this school preparation season.
In reality the most important gift parents can give is personal time spent with their children, time spent modeling how to live. That will prepare children more than anything else.
Ask yourself, how spiritually safe are my children? Then request or download our rich family resource guide: Marriage & Family: The Missing Dimension.