Earlier today I posted on the Superiority of Adventist Education. Today I want to make an appeal to all parents that do not yet or have not yet decided to send their kids to an Adventist school. Here is the reality, as much as I believe we should send our kids to Adventist schools and as strong academically as our schools are, we could still do more and there are still changes that need to be made! The only way I see these changes being made is through parents that are interested and engaged, and the more parents interested and engaged the greater reality for greater change!
Why is this so? Because we can only really change what we are a part of! Here are two thoughts connected to this point:
First, many times we make statments like, “When that school changes then I will send my kid there.” The reality is, “that school” can’t change unless you do send your kid there. Why? Because you, the ones that want change, won’t be engaged to change things unless you have something invested in it! I would love to say we all are extremely altruistic and completely generous in our service, but the reality is, most of us don’t engage and lend our energies to things that don’t benefit us directly, which is why people can say they want to help SDA schools, but unless their most precious possesion, i.e. their kids, are at said school, they won’t really be a part of the change process.
Second, an outside voice is not as well received as a voice that is invested or part of the “team”. Here is a story to illustrate this point. Shortly after 9/11 I was at a conference for Adventist University chaplains and their teams. During one break a group of us were sitting around discussing 9/11 our thoughts, our theories, even some of the conspiracy theories. One individual in the group happened to be a Canadian and from one of our sister colleges in Canada, this individual with I believe no true malice in mind made a statement though that was not for an outsider to say. In fact this individual made the comment and immediately three or so individuals got riled up and responded defensively. The Canandian then became defensive and said, “I am only saying what several of you have also alluded to.” I then said to this individual, “Yes, but we are all Americans.” And that really was the reality, we were Americans, we were the ones attacked, we could say what we wanted, but the moment a non-American jumped in we all got our noses bent out of shape. If you don’t send your kids to an Adventist school, or don’t plan to, but want to then tell people what is wrong with their school, it is not well received. We can all agree that people shouldn’t feel this way, we should accept truth wherever it comes from, but we know that is not reality. Think of it this way. How many of you have been irritated with those people who talk about kids and how to raise kids that don’t have kids? I am raising my hand! Then what is worse is when they try to compare raising an animal to your child. Hey sister your cat, your dog, is nothing like having a kid! We have a hard enough time listening to advice from other parents, but we will at least listen, because we know they at least have some understanding, but someone that is not a parent we just shut them out completely! It is the same with our schools. If you aren’t in it your voice is shut out! Unfortunate, but true!
Which is why we need you and your kids in our schools!
I can immediately hear someone thinking, “Well I am not going to sacrifice my kids.” Read yesterdays post, you aren’t sacrificing your kids! In fact many of us that make that statement are products of Adventist Education. And as much as I have made the schools of my upbringing far superior to the Adventist schools I see now, the truth is they really weren’t. I still remember the vice-principal who came up to me at the end of my senior year and said, “Chad I am proud of you for sticking with Jesus. There were faculty members after your conversion that said, ‘it won’t last it is only a fad. Chad can’t change.” Yes those were “Christian” teachers at an Adventist school. I still remember as well the teacher that tried to prevent a number of the students from going to a prayer conference stating bluntly that we were taking “to many religious trips.” Or what about the girl that cursed me out in the hallway in front of a teacher. There were no repercussions. Or what about my own foul mouth before my conversion on the court and off…rarely was there any consequence to this. Yes, this was at an Adventist school. It wasn’t perfect. But it was still better than any other alternative and when my heart was finally softened to hear the voice of Jesus, it wasn’t the church or my parents that reached me, it was through the activities and the connections at the school. So believe me when I say, you are not sacrificing your kids…you are giving them the best chance possible and with you involved in changing what does need to be changed at our schools, you are giving them an even better chance!