Guest Column: The need to keep our children safe
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 19:14 (ESV)
Last Friday, an unspeakable tragedy struck a quite community in Connecticut.
Just after students were finished pledging their allegiance to our country, a crazed gunman took from them their fundamental right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This community, I understand, is statistically one of the safest in the United States, but that did not prevent one of the worst acts of violence in our nation’s history.
As I was eating dinner with friends and family, one of my seminary classmates received a call detailing the tragedy that was unfolding hundreds of miles from our lunch table. Having six children myself, all of which were sitting with us, my heart was immediately broken. How could someone do something so terrible?
My friend’s heart was drawn to the Scriptures, as he was keenly aware that the Evil One had been at work in the mind of the troubled man who carried out this senseless act of evil. I wondered aloud how anyone could deny the existence of evil when it was put on display for all to see.
Many have and will continue to ask how God allows such things to happen — why do we see these things happen with such frequency? However, it was not God, but a sinful man who forcibly entered Sandy Hook Elementary. A man whose mind was long corrupted by a Fallen world. Our culture so strongly desires to see God out of everything, we should feel blessed He doesn’t abandon us all together.
In the moment when my heart was broken by this breathtaking news, a question arose in my mind — one that enveloped my mind as I went to sleep Friday and has constantly greeted me since: What is to prevent this from happening to my children? I have children in two Rutherford County schools. Three of my children are the same age as many of the children killed on Friday.
I cannot imagine how those parents feel nor how my fellow clergymen in that community will begin to comfort their congregations. The more I read about this tragedy, the more it seems that there were many measures in place to provide security for those children. Sometimes, when evil overtakes someone, tragedy is unavoidable.
However, as a parent, I want to know — I have to know — that everything is being done to protect my children, their teachers, and the administrators at our schools. I hope our school board has already met to determine how we prevent this from happening. I hope they are asking the questions that are necessary to secure our schools.
Our schools are not as secure as they can be and now is the time to act. This tragedy shows us that we, as a community, have to do whatever it takes to be prepared. There are no reasonable people opposed to keeping our children safe. If evil attempts to visit a Rutherford County school, my prayer is that we are ready to repel it.
Dr. Micheal S. Pardue
Pastor, High Shoal Baptist Church
Parent of five children in Rutherford County Schools