ATLANTA--(BUSINESS WIRE FEATURES)--April 28, 1999--Seven co-sponsoring organizations are preparing for two hundred evangelical Christians to attend an all-day conference Saturday, May 1, in Sandy Springs, Ga., to debate whether they should stay and help fix public schools or pull their children out.
"Edu4um Atlanta" will be held at Mount Vernon Presbyterian School, 471 Mt. Vernon Highway N.E.
Marshall Fritz, founder of the event's lead organization, the Separation of School & State Alliance, asserts: "In the shock of the Columbine Public High School tragedy, the Edu4um theme now seems extraordinarily on target: 'What should evangelical Christians do about the public school crisis?'"
Sixteen speakers will meet in four 90-minute formal disputations about whether Christians should try to fix the schools or flee them. Among those encouraging Christians to stay in the schools are Dr. Drew Allbritten, Executive Director, Ga. Association of Educators, a National Education Association affiliate [Surprise, Surprise! The Educrats will be telling us not to leave their government sponsored monopoly.]; Mike Crandall, Atlanta Metro Director, Student Venture; Rev. Ed Floyd, Executive Assistant to Linda Shrenko, Georgia State Superintendent of Schools [Another surprise!]; and John Roddy, former Senior Policy Analyst at the U.S. Dept. of Education [Ditto!]. The disputations will be moderated by Nancy Schaefer, former Republican candidate for Governor.
Other speakers will assert that public schools cannot be reformed, nor is it even prudent for Christians to expect safe passage through them. Fritz asks, "If God is so important to us Christians (Deut. 6), why do we put our children where the most common way they'll hear His name is in a curse?"
Dr. Christina Jeffrey will give the keynote address, "Public Schools are Worse than You Think, Especially in the Suburbs." Dr. Jeffrey is Assoc. Professor, Kennesaw State Univ., and President of Operation Integrity, an Edu4um co-sponsor. She will expand on the insight of inner-city pastor E.V. Hill of Los Angeles, "If you teach children that they're animals, why are you surprised when they behave like animals?" Speaker Marc Stout, Headmaster of Dominion Christian High School in Marietta, an Edu4um co-sponsor, upbraids his co-religionists: "Christian parents are allowing their children to be spiritually robbed, spiritually molested, and spiritually gunned down in state-funded schools by the proponents of Secular Humanism. The Columbine Public High School tragedy is the fruit of a world view that declares man, not God, is the ultimate authority." [This is pretty good stuff.]
Speaker Rev. E. Ray Moore, founder of Exodus 2000, also a co- sponsoring organization, says, "There is a reason these public school children who murder do not appear psychotic: Their schools teach them that there is no purpose in life; that they should be true to their feelings; that conflicting 'truths' must be respected; and that eternity is not even worth mentioning. By eradicating hope, public schools make murder and suicide into rational acts." Elizabeth Cole, President of Eagle Forum of Georgia, another Edu4um co-sponsor, claims the undermining of parents by government schools officials is pervasive: "Many public school educators view their role as superior to the parents and that children belong to the community, not parents. This is why they welcome speakers from organizations such as Planned Parenthood who ridicule parental attempts to teach chastity."
Edu4um speakers recognize that government schooling is only one part of the collapsing culture. Says Nolen P. Cox, Director of American Family Association of Georgia, an Edu4um co-sponsor,: "A society that sends 12-year olds to watch killings in slasher films, practice killings in violent video games, and listen to killings in satanic rock music should eventually figure out why children absorb the culture of death and implement it in teen killings and suicides."
Fritz praised Edu4um local coordinator, Denise Miller of Snellville, for her letter to Georgia pastors urging them to attend Edu4um Atlanta. She wrote, "I know many pastors have public school teachers in their churches. Too many don't say peep for fear of offending them. How bad do the schools have to become before the courage to speak the truth overcomes the desire to be conciliatory? God will not hold pastors accountable for how many schoolteachers they kept in their congregation." Miller, a homeschooling mother, is interim president of the Alliance's Georgia Evangelical Christian Chapter. [Dewey, are you thinking of attending? What about Joe? Someone needs to point out that the most recent school shooting should not be the justification for leaving public schools. While the destructive, anti-Christian worldview perpetuated by such schools is a good practical reason for removing one*s children, someone needs to point out that we should oppose government run schools even when they are not destructive. Such schools are just plain unbiblical in theory.]
The public is welcome to visit http://www.sepschool.org to see the names, city-by-city, of all 6,741 people who have joined the call to end compulsory attendance, content, and financing of K-12 schools. Supporters include such prominent religious leaders as Dr. D. James Kennedy, founder of Evangelism Explosion; Rabbi Daniel Lapin, founder and president of Toward Tradition; and Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J., for 25 years spiritual advisor to Mother Teresa.
In response to stinging criticism in a local Atlanta paper that branded Edu4um sponsors as "evangelantes," Fritz announced, "I will waive $30 of the $35 Edu4um conference fee for any public school employee or non-Christian who wants to understand our concerns. One quarter of Edu4um is reserved for Q&A. We want your input." [Interesting. I wonder if this *local Atlanta paper* is the Atlanta Journal and Sickle. Of course, morphing the word *vigilante* is a rather huge embarrassment for this paper. After all, a *vigilante* is one who takes the law into one*s own hands. Clearly, deciding to leave the government school monopoly cannot be accurately described using this word.]
For more information about Edu4um Atlanta, call 404/293- 8022, 559/292-1776, or visit www.sepschool.org. Edu4um Atlanta is also co-sponsored by the Christian Coalition of Georgia.
The Separation of School & State Alliance is a grass-roots, non-profit education organization founded in 1994 with the mission of informing Americans how education can be improved, especially for the poor, by ending government involvement in K-12 schooling.