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Back to school

Published 3:54pm Thursday, August 22, 2013

Rev. Jonathan Yarboro
Greetings from the corner of Bridge and Bridge! This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. God is indeed good all the time.
By now most of the schools in our area are back in session. The first day of school for Wetumpka students was Monday. There was quite a lot of excitement that morning.
Children made their way to their new classrooms for the year. Parents breathed a sigh of relief as they left the building. Buses rolled, drop-off lines buzzed and hallways echoed with the sounds of school.
In many ways, back to school means returning to the routine. Everyone has to get back in the saddle, so to speak. Everyone involved has to be more intentional about doing what needs to be done to help students have a good school year experience. When all the various systems work together, children receive the best education available.
That is the way it is supposed to work anyway. Most of us know the reality we live in currently. While on some level we all know what needs to happen in order for our students and schools to succeed, actually doing our part is somewhat elusive.
I don’t know about you, but many of the stories I read in the newspaper about education trouble me. Chief among them for me is the prevalence of lawsuits. How have we reached the point that our first response to conflict is to sue?
It seems that rather than being on the unified side of providing quality education for all students, there are multiple sides rooted in special interest and possession of power. Legislators, state board officials, local board officials, administrators, teachers, students and parents should all be working together; doing their respective part. We are not in that place folks.
Please understand that I am not one to assign blame to any one constituency group, nor do I think any one group is more to blame than any other. I am saying we are all to blame because we are allowing it to continue.
What would happen if we collectively took the step of keeping litigation as a last resort when addressing the natural conflicts associated with education? That one action, if adopted by all parties involved, could dramatically change the tone of talk about education. I am serious.
I have a wild idea. What if we required the losing party in all court proceedings to pay the legal fees of the victor? In other words, if you sue someone and lose, you have to pay their fees. If you sue and win, they have to pay yours.
I am crazy enough to believe that taking this simple action would encourage all of us to behave better. Entities might treat their individual participants better. Individual participants might treat the entities they belong to better. But then again, what do I know?
I don’t know a lot, but I do know something about God’s intentions for humankind. God created us to be interdependent, not self sufficient.
God gives special gifts to every human creation, but never gives all gifts to anyone. As a result, each human has something to share as well as something they need help with.
It’s time for us to quit beating on each other and focus on helping each other. The future of all God’s children depends on it. Think about it.

The Rev. Jonathan Yarboro is the pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Wetumpka.

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