Gateways to Better Education Founder Eric Buehrer Says Schools Legally Can, and Should, Make Themselves Faith-Friendly Places for Students
Teaching the Whole Child Includes Acknowledging the Spiritual Needs of Children
(Lake Forest, CA – July 24, 2013) – With thousands of public schools starting to re-open in August after summer recess, the founder and president of a non-profit organization working to help public schools teach about the Bible and the values of the Judeo-Christian tradition, says this can be accomplished without crossing the lines of religious endorsement or indoctrination.
“State academic standards expect – and the courts support – teaching students about the history, culture, and values that come from America’s Judeo-Christian heritage,” says Eric Buehrer, who founded Gateways to Better Education (www.gtbe.org) in 1991.
“We show educators how to do this legally and appropriately, upholding academic and religious freedom within existing constitutional boundaries, and in keeping with current laws and state academic standards,” says Buehrer. “For example, in the recent 50th Anniversary of the Supreme Court’s removal of mandatory Bible reading and prayer from public schools, we choose to look at that and other court decisions and place emphasis on what legally supports teaching about religion and having silent prayer in schools. In this famous case, our view is that it’s the 50th Anniversary of the Supreme Court endorsing the Bible, since the decision includes the idea that while you can’t have mandatory reading, the Bible is worthy of study.”
“Other examples: People think that prayer in public schools is disallowed, but the reality is that 35 States allow or mandate moments of silence that can be used for prayer,” says Buehrer.
In explaining his motivation for founding Gateways to Better Education, Eric Buehrer says:
“I was a public high school teacher and was concerned about what was happening in the culture with the growing emphasis on stripping religious acknowledgement out of our schools,” says Buehrer. “Somebody needed to be out there making the case that it is perfectly legal and it is good education – both academically and as a matter of culture – to help students understand the important contributions that the Bible and Judeo-Christian values make to the world; and where they could understand the connections between their particular subject matter and how the Bible or our Judeo-Christian history and culture has impacted that particular subject.”
“My vision,” explains Buehrer “is to bring about a cultural renewal in America’s 99,000 public schools to such a degree that students will learn to be people of strong ethical character who understand the importance of our nation’s religious heritage and values.”