God and School Violence

God and School Violence

Matt Gauntner

The 21st Century is known as “Generation Columbine” according to USA Today. In 2018 alone, there were 113 students injured or killed during a school shooting. People are left wondering why has there been such a staggering increase in school shootings in this century? Many people want to answer this question by pointing to guns, but the real question focuses on the person shooting the gun. A better way of phrasing the question is, “Why have there been so many more people committing school shootings in this century?”

 

The reason for the sudden proliferation in school violence is because God and the morals derived from Christianity have been removed from schools. Multiple other factors also play a role in school shootings such as mental illness, bullying, violent entertainment, the deterioration of families, etc., but the lack of God and morals in schools are the ultimate factor. It is imperative that people learn morals as children. If they are not taught morals at home, they should learn the basics of right from wrong at school. Schools are given the heavy responsibility of teaching ethics to students. Most middle schools include anti-bullying classes in their curriculum, but they alone are not enough to teach morality and ethics.

 

In 1962 and 1963, the Supreme Court ruled that there shall be no prayer nor Bibles allowed in public schools. This removed the values of Christianity such as compassion, transformation, solidarity with the poor, justice and peace, and respect for human dignity. These values don’t belong to only Christians of course, but to any morally good person. It is known as the Universal ethical code: “Do unto others what you would have others do unto you,” Matthew 7:12. Hinduism shares this same belief: “Do nothing to others which would cause pain if done to you.” Buddhism states  “One should seek for others the happiness one desires for oneself.” Islam believes, “no one is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself.” Judaism perhaps states it best, “What is hateful to you, do not do to others. That is the entire law: all the rest is but commentary.” If everybody was taught the basic Christian or universal morals, the world would be a safer place.

 

Common Core (adopted by many schools) focuses solely on academic achievement and college readiness. Ethics education does not fit into the Common Core curriculum. Heather Kristen, a Belle Vernon High School teacher, proved this when she said in an interview, “The closest thing to morality or ethics education is sociology.” It’s possible that by omission, schools are teaching their students that ethics aren’t necessary in becoming successful adults.

 

The lack of values-based education has a lasting impact on a person’s life, which could manifest years after schooling has ended. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stated, “Education without morals is like a ship without a compass, merely wandering nowhere.” That crucial moral fiber is like those Common Core morality classes – not found in public schools. In fact, that moral fiber is banned from schools.

 

A Professor of Education at CSU, William Jeynes explains, “When we remove that moral fiber — that moral emphasis – this is what can result.” In his book, A Call for Character Education and Prayer in the Schools, he writes, “One wonders if far fewer school shootings would have occurred if students from these schools, especially the assailants, had been given training in forgiveness, anger management, loving others, showing respect, defending the children who are bullied, and dealing with others tenderly.”

 

God is the moral fiber to this world. God evokes a desire of eternal peace, a fear of eternal damnation, and most importantly the personification of hope. But, God is not promoted or accepted in school. According to Richmond Alarm, a school security company, “The mass school shootings list confirms that most K-12 school shootings have occurred at public institutions. As of 2017, private K-12 academic institutes have been, for the most part, spared from large-scale mass shootings”. Public schools are not to blame for these events. It’s the banishing of God that is to blame.

 

There’s a direct correlation between removing God from schools and an increase in school violence. Bullying, mental illnesses, deterioration of family in a society lacking morals definitely play a part in this problem, but the banning of God is paramount. It is illegal for teachers and schools to promote prayer, and morality lessons are an antithesis of a priority. When God was stripped from schools so was institutional prayer, ethical teachings, hope, and safety. When God was banished from schools so was the morality with Him. According to the Didache, morality is a choice that ultimately leads to the path of life, or the path of death, and God is the centerpiece behind it. America has made an immoral choice when God was banned and schools are now walking through the path of death.