Tuesday, October 16, 2007

What's Your Grade?

Being a Christian mother with children in the public school system can be quite a challenge at times. My friend Aly got to experience this first hand last week. At church Sunday when she explained to me the situation she had gone through, I was so proud of her. But it was her response to her daughter that brought tears to my eyes. (Godly moms have that affect on me.)

Aly’s daughter Ely is in junior high and her oldest of three children. She is a beautiful little girl and quite the overachiever. Getting A’s in all her classes is quite common for Ely. When Ely shared with her mom what she was learning in one of her classes her mom made an immediate phone call to the school, followed by some very effective letters.

The curriculum in question,the study of the Muslim religion. It wasn’t just a broad overview with a few questions or a page of interactive study with some class participation. Nor was this study taught equally alongside other religions. Ely was to memorize and recite poems from the Qu’ran. This lesson also incorrectly taught the tolerance and peaceful nature of this faith.

Aly was irate, she has the life experience of growing up in Europe, and knows first hand the 'peaceful tolerance' of the Muslim faith. Her own brother is an officer serving his second tour right now in Iraq and emails her quite frequently. After her time with the teacher and principal, the teacher was responsive to the fact that in the face of tolerance of religions, the school wasn't being very tolerant with Aly's beliefs. She shared that she had been highly offended by the curriculum and made the point that the few sentences taught about Jesus and Christianity never included any prayers or the even the ten commandments. In fact those few sentences about Jesus were even incorrect.

After Aly’s phone calls and letters, and after a calm discussion in truth and love with Ely’s teacher and much prayer, her daughter is going to be doing a study on the geography of the Middle East instead.

The part of the story that touched my heart was what she had told her daughter in the beginning of all of this. Ely was aware that her mom would take her out of that class for these teachings and though she understood why, she was in tears about the possibility of failing her class and getting an 'F' for the first time. Her mother responded by saying, “Honey, if you get an ‘F’, I'll frame it. It won't stand for your ‘failure’, but for your ‘faith’.”

Chokes you up too doesn’t it?


Gina said...

HI! Thank you for putting me on your blogroll, and for your encouraging words! I am so grateful if you are finding anything on my blog that points you to God. That is my desire!!!

I appreciated this post, and appreciate your heart in this. God has led our family to home school, for a number of reasons. It has been a walk of faith in many ways. Those areas of "walking by faith" for me are different than those areas of "walking by faith" for you...but we are both women walking by faith, and that is what we share! My children are on sports teams and involved in other activities that involve people of other faiths and ideas. It is a HUGE praise whenever we see them standing alone, even in the smallest of ways! I love how the body of Christ is diverse, and we can learn and be inspired by even those who are walking a slightly different road than we are! This story inspired me!!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for visiting my blog!!!! I've enjoyed your posts as well and will be back for more!!!! You have blessed me today :)

Katherine@Raising Five said...

What an encouraging post. Our kids are also in public school, and so far, we have not had any "incidents" of this nature, but this gives me courage to make the move if they ever do. "F for Faith" is a beautiful way to guide our kids to stand up for what's right.

Thanks for visiting me - I enjoyed reading your easy style of writing and getting to know your beautiful family here. I'm looking forward to getting to know you more!


The Cooke Family said...

WOW! What a great story. I did well up with tears. Thanks for sharing.

I came across your blog from a comment that was left on another blog that I frequently visit and thought your comment to the young newly married woman struggling with infertility was very sweet. I just know you encouraged her. That means a lot coming from a stranger.

The Cooke Family said...


That is SO encouraging to be able to encourage someone you don't even know!!! My husband & I just got back from Little Rock, AR last night to finish up our follow up training for FamilyLife. We are so excited to be a part of the FL team! Wasn't the Weekend To Remember great? This has been quite a journey for us, as I know everyone has their own God stories.

It is neat to hook up with a fellow blogger this way! By the way, I too have a son named David (12) that would think a Twinkie and a Dr. Pepper would would a great meal that his mom prepared for him. : ) I thought that was so cute. My son loves, no adores, food. My mom says she loves to cook for him because he enjoys it so much. He has a hard time NOT saying "MMMMMM" with every bite. : )

Blessings to you.... oh, and FamilyLife needs you if you ever feel called : )- some awesome new things going on with the ministry. Not trying to recruit or anything. : )

Chelle' said...

Joanne- I had to look up this post because I didn't remember the story you referenced in your email to me today.

I LOVE ALY! (You can tell her I said that!!) What a great response she had for her fretting daughter. And what a wonderful job she did relaying her concerns to the higher ups in her daughter's educational structure.

Who knows what may come from that. Just the seed that she planted while explaining how the memorization of the beliefs of the Muslim faith were unfit for her daughter may well become fruit- a relationship with the Lord!!

You tell Aly that with stories like those... she needs a blog of her own :)

I know I'd read it. :-)

Tyla said...

Hi. I'm a first time visitor to your site today (via the Redheaded Riter). I have to say I just loved this post. What a great way for a mom to handle this kind of situation! Thanks for sharing. I'll be back, I'm sure.


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