I sent the letter requesting the elective be added to the registration catalog for students not knowing that several years back when the Georgia Legislature first passed the law, Jeff Davis County was one of the first school systems to put the elective in place. I was able to talk with Principal Cecilia McLoon yesterday and she told me they had 15-18 students in the class when it ran, but that unfortunately there didn't seem to be enough interest or ability to continue the class the next year. After having received my letter and proposal however, Mrs. McLoon expressed great interest in trying the class again saying that if the students want it, then the school will offer it.
Let me say how refreshing it was to hear Mrs. McLoon speak so positively about the prospective course. In a time where many professionals, and especially those in the public school sector, are seeking to be politically correct and not rock the proverbial boat, Mrs. McLoon is willing to allow the students to choose whether to have this class or not. She's a supporter of the class and is proud that Jeff Davis County not only approved it from the beginning, but offered and conducted the class in the past as well. Having the class again would certainly be desirable.
Understanding budget crunches and time constraints, I've proposed a few things to try and make sure that nothing would necessarily prohibit the class from going forward in as much as we can control on the professional and financial sides. In my proposal to Dr. Brown and Mrs. McLoon, I've pledged mine and my church's support for the class in that should funds be an issue in getting textbooks, our church will pledge to get each student a textbook for the class. In addition, if students need a Bible, we will furnish those as well. In addition, I've offered to teach the class free of charge should that be allowable. Some may not know, but I received my Bachelor's Degree from Brewton-Parker College in Social Science Secondary Education. I'm a certified teacher in the state of Georgia and licensed to teach History, Political Science, Psychology, Economics, and Geography. Offering the Bible elective as a history elective would fall under my licensing. I won't pretend to be a great teacher by any means. By the time I graduated with my undergraduate degree, I had started into full-time ministry. Since that time, I've remained in full-time ministry and have never had to use my degree for a full-time teaching position. So without a doubt, I believe there are teachers at the high school right now easily more qualified and able to teach this class better than I could. I also know however that many of these teachers already have a heavy workload and walking what might be a fine line with teaching such a class may not be so desirable in the end. This is why I've offered myself. It's not because I think I can teach it better by any means.
So what can we do? Very simply, we advertise the class. We push it in our homes and our youth groups. With the class being an elective, there will be some students who would like to choose it, but due to band or sports will not be able to choose it due to scheduling conflicts. That's just part of it. However, there are a large group of students that are neither in band or athletes that may have openings in their elective courses to sign up for a class. Some students who are athletes or who are in band may be able to sign up for the elective too if it doesn't conflict with their necessary classes. The point is we need interest. I want to strongly encourage parents to talk to your teens about this class. Tell them to express interest to the leadership of Jeff Davis High. Tell them to let Mrs. McLoon know that they do want the class offered and that they do want to take it. If you're a youth pastor, push this class in your youth groups. This class is not going to be a church class. It won't be denominational-driven. It's a history class, but it's also the Bible, and the Bible is powerful in and of itself. Encourage your teens to take a stand in their day and declare their interest in this class. Others can write letters in support of the class. If enough students show interest, this class will be offered again at the high school, and what a great testimony that will be for our city.
We're living in a time where it seems our religious freedoms are constantly under attack. It seems the only inexcusable offense in today's society is believing in Biblical values and morals. Organized prayer was removed from school in the early 60's. Our state government has made a way for the Bible to not only make an accepted comeback in our schools, but to be a featured text with its own elective class. When we're afforded with these opportunities, I think we have to try and see if we can do them. So I'm asking for your help. Encourage your teens to express their interest and desire for this class. Tell them to write to or talk to high school administration requesting this class. Talk about this class at home and at church. Let's spread the word. And last, but definitely not least, let's pray.
Thank you for your support in advance. I believe this class could be great for our students and community.