My parents moved to Virginia in the early 80’s when my father received orders from the military to once again move. After joining a church which also had a Christian school, my parents decided to place my brother into the kindergarten class for the school year. Let’s face it, every school, every educational system, and every teacher has flaws. However, my parents immediately knew there was a problem. My brother as well as other students (we later found out who had this same teacher) struggled with learning problems. My parents removed my brother from the Christian school and placed him in our local public school for 1st grade.
It was the last decade or so of the Cold War, but military families experienced the Cold War in ways that most people do not realize. Our fathers, husbands, brothers, and uncles were constantly deployed. Mediterranean Cruises, Med Cruises, were common place for Navy families. My father was typically deployed for 9 months on a Med Cruise, came home for 2-3 weeks, and then left again for 1-2 months on a training exercise to GITMO Bay, the Bahamas, the U.S. Virgin Islands, or Bermuda. During a 4 year rotation of Sea Duty, my mother was basically a single parent.
My brother could not have had a better elementary school principal. When his learning struggles became clear, Mr. Brown took my brother under his wing. Mr. Brown knew my brother by name. He knew my mother and I even though I was still at home and not yet enrolled in school. Mr. Brown even diagnosed my brother’s learning “problems.” My brother was gifted.
This elementary school principal referred my mother to a child psychologist and helped my family in a way no one else had previously done. Seeing my brother improve was all the thanks he needed.
Christians, conservative Christians, have this idea that public schools will change your child’s values, your child will just be a number amongst the crowd, and or your child will receive a substandard education. We did not. I will address some of those topics later. Were there problems? Absolutely. I am not going to lie or whitewash history. My point is this, there are wonderful public schools available and parents should not be made to feel like they are sinning by sending their child to public school. Their children should not be segregated from “good Christian school kids” either.