Dear Women of Grace:
More and more frequently I've been encountering people who engage in occult and new age practices. They always seem to be connected with our schools and are usually students. We have 6 children in public school here, and I have substitute taught in our schools to gain a more thorough perspective and familiarity with people and the environment my kids are in. I have seen Ouija boards used at school on a computer. Tarot cards as well. I just found out that my fifth grader has been playing a game called Magic the Gathering at school, which sounds bad, but I don't know what it is, and he wants me to buy him his own set of cards for this. A substitute teacher in my third grader's class taught the children how to use crystals. Harry Potter is of course very popular, among teachers as well as students. We own the entire set and all the movies, and I'm beginning to think this is a mistake. I've convinced myself that it's just a very captivating fictional world with no power. I'm still not sure.
This morning, I saw a car in the parking lot of our school plastered with witchcraft and gay pride bumper stickers. I believe it belongs to someone who works at the school . . .
My question is how do I respond to all this? What is our responsibility when children are being targeted in schools by authorities, who may not even be fully aware of these dangers? What is best way to approach this?
I've discussed this with my children, and hinted that Harry Potter may not be wholesome literary fare. My 14 year old did know to say no to Tarot cards at a sleepover last year, so I guess I spoke with her about it at some point. But my gut feeling is that I don't even want my kids in proximity to this. On the other hand, I know that God is bigger, and that light always defeats darkness, and we don’t have to be afraid. I pray for the protection of my children every day. I don't want to become fearful, paranoid, or unrealistic, but I do feel like there's a tidal wave of this hitting our kids, and I'm not sure what I should do. Any advice you can give would be greatly appreciated!
Yes, God is bigger and His light can defeat the darkness, but that doesn’t mean we get a free pass when it comes to dabbling in the occult. Anytime we turn to powers that are not sourced in God – even when just “playing” with Ouija boards or Tarot – we invite those powers into our lives. If we are not in a state of grace, we could be opening the door to a whole lot of trouble.
This report, which was compiled ten years ago by the Christian Research Institute and documents the gradual encroachment of the occult/New Age into our school system, is still pertinent today. It includes a list of things parents can do to rid their schools of these dangerous elements, such as:
1. Stay closely involved with your child and his/her teachers and become informed about any New Age or occult practice they are being introduced to.
2. Approach teachers, principals, and possibly board members as concerned parents who want to make the school better, rather than with an accusatory or adversarial approach
3. Be able to show school administrators that New Age programs are religiously based and know the laws regulating the introduction of such materials into schools
4. Don’t be discouraged by stonewalling. If it occurs, gather parents together and begin to hold informational meetings to educate other parents about what’s really going on
5. Don’t be afraid to go to the local school board if you can’t get anywhere in the school.
6. Be prepared for push-back from promoters of these practices and know how to respond to their talking points
Just in case, parents should become familiar with their state’s department of education, particularly where to file complaints.
Parents should also be aware that the popular Scholastic Books, which plays host to school book fairs and book clubs, is the publisher of occult fiction series such as Harry Potter and Goosebumps.
If this is happening in your school, you’re not alone! Parents across the country have been confronting similar incidents for decades now. One of the most shocking stories I found occurred in 1995 when a group of parents had to file a lawsuit against Pound Ridge Elementary School in Pound Ridge, New York in order stop the school from introducing children to occult practices. The school was inviting crystal healers and psychics to the school, and teaching third graders how to read tarot cards. Fourth graders were asked to write a poem entitled, “How God Messed Up” while fifth graders were taught to conjure the dead in Aztec rituals.
The only way to put a stop to this dangerous trend is to rely on the power of God to combat it head on and in allegiance with other concerned parents. If handled correctly, these situations can be resolved!
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