Protest

Today 1000’s of young people participated in a #NationalStudentWalkout, including some from Spencerville Adventist Academy, the school of The Spencerville Adventist Church of which I am the Senior Pastor, and the school my three sons attend. I have heard some within our nation agitating for the inappropriateness of this walkout and also that the students should face some level of punishment from their respective schools. I would suspect that most, not all, but most of these appeals come from those that hold a position that is in opposition to the students that walked-out. I do not write this post to discuss my views for or against the issue, you can read some thoughts on that here or here. But I write to encourage everyone, no matter where you stand on the “gun debate” to support the proactive movement these young people are taking. Supporting a young persons passionate expression to the extent it is done in peace, and is not in opposition to a clear “thus saith The Lord” is a good thing. The reason I feel this way is because I experienced that support first hand as a child and have never forgotten it.

Here is my story:

When I was in 4th grade in Loma Linda, CA one of the required classes we were to take was Spanish, in 3rd grade we took German, in 4th grade Spanish. Shortly after the class began that year I began to have some run-ins with the teacher, to the extent that I felt she had begun to call me out unnecessarily and took joy in embarrassing me. I was good at losing my temper, by that point in my life I was already on a first name basis with the office administrators and the school principal. But this time I decided not to go my usual route, instead I decided to attempt something productive

I wrote a petition!

It was a petition of protest against my need to be in that class.

It was only about half a page long, but it clearly laid out my reasons for my belief that this teacher was causing undue harm to my psyche.

When I first took the petition to the office to submit it I learned two things: first a petition needed signatures and secondly a student could not submit a petition unless they had the support and signature of at least one teacher or faculty member.

With that information and without their support they sent me on their way, I would suspect thinking they had effectively squashed this 4th graders protest.

They were wrong!

I immediately began to get signatures…over 100 of them as I remember, mostly from my own grade, but a few of the 5th and 6th grade girls signed it as well as I explained my plight and batted my eyes.

But I still needed a teacher or a faculty member to sign.

Loma Linda was (is) a large for an Adventist school and in the 4th grade there were actually 4 different teachers. We had our primary room and then we would rotate a few subjects between the other three teachers. I can tell you I remember the names of two of those four teachers. Mrs. Sell, my main teacher and Mrs. Smith, I’ve been wracking my brain trying to remember the other two and I’m coming up completely blank. Could it be I remember those two teachers because out of the 4 they were the two that read my protest and agreed to sign my sheet so that I could turn it in?

Their support had a major impact on me and now 30+ years later I still remember their support and remain grateful.

Looking back on the entire incident from an adult perspective I doubt that they signed my paper out of agreement, but rather to affirm my initiative and willingness to express myself.

Also looking back I believe their support was part of my development as a leader. It was one of the first major “leadership” initiatives I accomplished.

So let us support our children even if we don’t agree on the issue. If The Lord hasn’t called for silence on this issue in His Word and the young people are being peaceful in their protest let us affirm their outcries!

We may just be helping to develop future leaders.

Oh, by the way, they let me drop the Spanish class…go figure a protest really can change things  😉

5 Comments

  1. Meshach Soli March 14, 2018

    Mrs. Sell and Smith were solid! Thanks for this Chad. Always appreciate your approach. Blessings my friend.

  2. Tim Lale March 15, 2018

    Appreciate this word from you. I think of the Spirit being poured out on young men and women in the last days when I see them peacefully calling for protections for innocent people. They’re being bold to speak for good. Jesus said that calling for what is good would prompt an opposite reaction, and we’re seeing a lot of that. The kids who are being told that they’re a fake movement or misbehaving are growing up quick, being schooled in the evil spirit of the opposition. Reminds me to speak up for the coming Kingdom.

  3. Jamie Timon March 15, 2018

    Exactly right Chad, regardless of your stance on gun control, we as a nation should be applauding A) peaceful protestations as opposed to violent ones and B) intentional proactive discourse among our youth. The best way to improve our country is to encourage wide-spread peaceful participation in our politics. Doing so will lead to more ideas being brought to the table, new faces (more turnover in elected officials but that’s another soapbox), more grassroots involvement, and more responsibility.

  4. Robert Martinez March 15, 2018

    This helps me pause to think of some of my most troubling students. It is easy to dismiss a student who trurly has great potential. One must be careful not to squash future leadership.

  5. Scott Williams March 16, 2018

    As a lead into this, I answered you questions about the 2nd amendment. Please check that out.
    You write: “support the proactive movement these young people are taking. Supporting a young persons passionate expression to the extent it is done in peace, and is not in opposition to a clear “thus saith The Lord” is a good thing” and “So let us support our children even if we don’t agree on the issue.” No, absolutely not, at least in our present political environment. This is nothing but brainwashing youth to support hard left positions. Despite the media blackout many Parkland student support the 2nd amendment, but if they wanted to organize a national walkout it would not be supported and would be actively suppressed. Many students feel strongly that abortion is evil and want to end it. That walkout would be suppressed. A walkout to oppose the suppression of conservative free speech on college campuses and in social media would likewise be verboten. There is absolutely no way that the elites would ever allow proactive movement and passionate expression of those opinions. Therefore, I am adamantly opposed to the indoctrination of America’s students into the Democrat Party Youth Brigades.

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