Molly at My Three Pennies Worth asks Is Public School a Sin? I prefer to phrase the question this way "How should a Christian Educate their children"? My answer comes down to a few basic scriptures that I can't seem to get past. It is on the basis of these scriptures that I have developed my answer.
It is my desire to have wise and not just "academically successful" children. The Bible teaches In Proverbs 9:10 that the "fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding". So to become wise, my children must learn to "fear God". Fear is defined here as a holy reverence and awe. Wisdom begins when we have a holy reverence and awe for God.
How is a person to acquire this wisdom? By walking with the wise. Proverbs 13:20 states "He who walks with the wise becomes wiser still but the companion of fools suffers harm." As a parent, I desire to have my children walk with those that know and fear God. I cannot expect that my children will walk among fools and become wise. That runs contrary to the scripture.
One is left to wonder then "Who are the fools"? Scripture identifies two groups as fools or foolish. From Psalm 14:1, "He who has set in his heart that there is no God" and Proverbs 22:15, "foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child". Where do we most often find these two groups together?
The public schools as an instituion has declared that there is no God. There may be Christian teachers but the curriculum and structure is built on the assumption that there is no God. With that as its beginning there is no foundation for wisdom to be established. It would not be prudent for me as a Christian parent to send my children to such a place regardless how good the "academic" training or how great the teacher.
Also, within the walls of the school it would be my foolish children walking among foolish companions. How could I in light of scripture expect that my children would become wise and free from harm (or in some cases doing the harming!).
The issue does not rest on whether my children will be a salt and light or whether the public schools will fall apart if all the "good" children leave. Nor does it matter what the philosphy is of a particular teacher or school. The issue for me is what does the scripture say about how to become wise. I believe that the Lord is clear, my children become wise by wallking with those that know and fear the Lord. Until the public schools are willing to acknowledge God, my children should not participate. Even then that still doesn't solve the dilemma of foolsih companions.
(For more reading see The Myth of an Equal Education and A Message to Christian Parents)