About the Author

Jill Maisch - as a writer, speaker, missionary, and educator - has a tendency to wander upstream... against the more comfortable current of social and spiritual complacency.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

“This wouldn’t have happened if we didn’t take God out of our schools!”

I cringed when I heard this after the murders at Columbine High School.

I bristled when I heard this after the slaughter at Virginia Tech.

And now I’m angered whenever I hear this in the aftermath of the senseless tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

God IS in our schools!

God is everywhere and God has always been in our schools! I see God every day at my school. In fact, just this past Friday I experienced God’s presence in the student who stopped in the hallway to help another student pick up colored pencils that had been spilled... and in the kind words of welcome for the student who just moved here from Nigeria. I hear God in the laughter and words of encouragement pouring out from every classroom. God IS in our schools!

Prayer is ALSO in our schools!

I pray every day at school. I pray for patience when dealing with a difficult student, I pray for wisdom and creativity as I plan how to present a science topic in an engaging way to thirteen-year olds, and I pray for students who are struggling with grades or acceptance or difficulties at home. I’ve also heard from my students that they pray at school. They pray before tests. They pray for their friends. After my father passed away several years ago I had students tell me they had been praying for me! Prayer IS in our schools!

It’s true that, because of our nation’s commitment to separation of church and state, students in public school are not required to recite or listen to prayers that reflect only the beliefs of one particular religion. Let’s not forget that the United States is a nation that enjoys the richness of many religions. Separation of church and state does NOT mean, however, that God and prayer are not in our schools!

I hope we never forget that God is everywhere and that we commit to praying FOR our schools and IN our schools! Amen?!