Faith in Memphis panel discusses suburban municipal school districts
On municipal schools
Germantown, Collierville, Bartlett, Millington, Arlington and Lakeland are holding school district referendums Thursday. Early voting has begun. We asked suburban members of our Faith in Memphis panel if there are moral/ethical issues for voters to consider.
Collierville Presbyterian Church
If I were rearing children in Collierville, I would find the reasons submitted for establishing a municipal school district compelling. Greater control of schools by parents, teachers and administrators in a community that has a great track record for educating its children would be appealing. That said, I would not call the Aug. 2 referendum a “no-brainer.” Not since it involves other children. Certainly, suburban parents should ask: What decision would be in my child’s best interests? What about the other children? Would a decision against school unity be a decision against their getting a good education? Would school unity resolve problems common to city schools? And would it do so without altering the standards common to effective learning programs in suburban schools? These questions have to be weighed, too. Concern for the best interests of all children in Shelby County requires it.
Faith Baptist Church, Bartlett
Our culture has widely abdicated the sacred trust of educating our children to others when it is primarily the family’s responsibility to make the best choice for their own children. Sometimes that comes in the form of homeschooling, or private schools, or the public school system. A family must choose the best path for their own children, oftentimes based on what is available and affordable. Sometimes, families must make huge sacrifices in order to provide what is best. The biblical perspective around this responsibility is clear. A man who doesn’t take care of his own family is a fool, according to the Scriptures (I Timothy 5:8). It is only reasonable that the municipalities would want the very best educational system available – in this case, a locally controlled municipal school district to provide the best public educational opportunity for their own children. This concern for the care of children in the suburbs in no way diminishes the concern or compassion for children in other parts of the county. To pretend that such a decision is merely racially motivated is simply a failure to embrace the problem personally.
First Baptist Church, Millington
These school district referendums have more facets to them than a highly priced diamond! Facets include educational excellence, economic viability, legality, and moral/ethical issues. To adequately cover each of these in this response is impossible. One can only pray that all interested parties are engaged in this process with pure motives. I fear that the incessant bantering back and forth by adults may cause our children to be the unintended victims in this process. To me, that would be the real tragedy.