In a post earlier today, I said traditional Christians are going to have to start thinking hard now about taking their kids out of the public schools, to protect them from being indoctrinated in this destructive gender ideology. A reader writes to explain why that is so difficult. I’ve slightly edited this to protect his privacy:
I saw the end of your post earlier re: getting churches to help finance private Christian ed, etc. My wife and I live in Fairfax County, VA, near Washington DC. For quick background, I work for the government in DC, and do some teaching in an area college. We have one income (mine), my wife does occasional substitute teaching, we live in a townhouse vs. single family home (which run about 600K+ in our area), and, for now, we send our 2 kids to neighborhood public elementary school.
Just to add to the economic side of the issue — here’s the breakdown of our private Christian school options per year in/near our town. The first one, Ad Fontes, is classical Christian. These figures were per year, AY2014-2015.
— doesn’t post their tuition on the website
Practically, then, here’s what it looks like in our neighborhood, if one wants a Christian education option —
1. Leave the neighborhood and the area (move)
2. Find cheaper private school alternative outside immediate locale, which means a very long back-and-forth commute
3. Second mortgage to pay for local private Christian
4. Wife to work
I am not surprised by this. That’s why I mentioned in the earlier post that churches and others ought to start brainstorming now to see if they can come up with a model of Christian education that’s more affordable for working people, or some way to subsidize, as a ministry, some scholarships. On the “model” point, our kids have been and will be again this fall in Sequitur, a hybrid classroom/homeschool program in Baton Rouge, one that follows the classical model. The tuition is much, much better than local Christian schools — but given that instruction is only half a day, it would be very hard for two working parents to take this option. Still, Sequitur makes it possible for lots of us who can’t really afford tuition at an established Christian school, or who for whatever reason don’t want to put our kids into them (e.g., Episcopal High in Baton Rouge has gotten on board the Love Wins bandwagon), to give our kids a quality Christian education.
On the earlier thread, a teacher commented:
My head is literally spinning with how I am going to handle this as a devout christian teacher in a public school. I had naively thought I would have time to think through what my options might be, especially since I am in an inner city school district and much of this transgender ideology is not as thoroughly accepted by the communities we serve. But I can see the train light in the tunnel now and its coming at a tremendous speed. I am wondering how other Christians in public schools plan to deal with this. While I would like to think I can just go about my business as long as I dont rock the boat, it seems inevitable that there will come a rubicon point were we are instructed by the state that in order to maintain our licensure we must agree to promote this ideology. I’m sure there will be plenty of posts telling me I’m just a reactionary, but I dont think that will be of much comfort when I have to explain to my children why I no longer have a job.
There will be good, qualified, experienced Christians who cannot in good conscience work in the public schools under these conditions. Why can we not benefit from their talents while giving them a job?
I hear off and on from readers with master’s degrees or PhDs in the humanities who have abandoned university careers because they actually love the humanities, and can’t face the misery of teaching in ideologically corrupted universities, where humanities courses are saturated with corrosive postmodernism, and/or consumed by gender and race obsessions. Some of these people have taken jobs in classical Christian schools, so they can do what they love: teach literature and humanities in the traditional way. There are committed, educated Christians who want jobs teaching the children of faithful orthodox Christians. We need to find a way to employ them with a reasonable salary, and to make it possible for as many children of our community as we can to get into those schools.
I believe this is mostly a matter of imagination and determination, not resources. We can do this! We must do this. This is part of the Benedict Option.
That said, I think lots of Christian parents are going to have to make some hard calls now and in the years to come about moving for the sake of educating their children, and raising them in a peer environment where they are more likely to absorb the faith, or at the very least not have their faith leached out of them. Radical times call for radical measures.
UPDATE: Brian Daigle, the headmaster of Sequitur Classical Academy in Baton Rouge, created these charts, saying, “A great education gets results, without making Christian parents bankrupt. Check out Sequitur’s results below.” People, we can do this! It’s not easy, but it can be done: