Many times we are tempted to just stay out of things. When we were kids in school, we knew that if we stood up for the kid getting harassed that we were liable to be next. Yet, this cannot be our attitude as adults. As adults, it is not name calling or slight physical violence that we overlook. Bullying is much worse when grown-ups perpetrate in it. And thankfully, parents of Walnut Hill Elementary-Middle School are not going to look the other way when their children's principal began to be bullied.
Christian News reports:
Hundreds attended a prayer rally on Friday in support of a Louisiana elementary and middle school principal who is under fire from the ACLU for quoting a Scripture in a recent newsletter sent to parents and posted on the district website.
The parents and their children have been touched by the way their principal lives before them everyday. So when the ACLU sent a public letter, the parents organized a public rally to show that they support their principal. So what exactly did Mr. Hardison do?
Albert Hardison is the principal of Walnut Hill Elementary-Middle School, and has been at the school for many years. Recently, Hardison sent out a newsletter that cited and quoted from Philippians 4:13, asking that prayers be sent up for students to excel on their exams.
“As our students prepare to take the state mandated tests, LEAP, iLEAP and PARCC, please pray that our God will give them the strength and mental fortitude, the patience, the wisdom, and the energy to do their best,” it read. “Please help our children understand the meaning of Philippians 4:13 … I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
But there is always someone who has to be the fly in the ointment.
Christian News further reports:
But an unidentified resident who does not have a child that attends Walnut Hill complained to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) about the matter. The organization in turn wrote an open letter on Tuesday to Caddo Schools Superintendent Dr. Lamar Goree, asserting that Hardison’s actions were unconstitutional.
Did you get that? The person who complained does not even have a student in the school. This means that they had to be trolling the website or looking for some perceived violation of the fictitious “freedom from religion” clause of the Constitution. But it is not enough that they have taken any mention of God out of the state-mandated schools, they now seek to muzzle all who would speak the Word of God in the children’s’ presence. If this is not bullying, then I do not know what is.
“[Hardison] has engaged in a pattern of religious proselytization by sending messages to parents invoking prayer, and through a lengthy ‘Principal’s Message’ on the school’s website,” ACLU of Louisiana Executive Director Marjorie Esman wrote. “This unlawful religious coercion is improper from any school employee but it is particularly egregious coming from the school principal, whose job is to teach and uphold, rather than violate, the legal rights of all.”
The thing that has to be noticed is that they want to characterize Mr. Hardison’s comments as coercion, that by speaking the Word of God it will cause people to hear and believe. Oh! That’s right, that is exactly what they do. See, that is the problem. They are afraid that people will hear and believe.
What was the district's response?
“In this instance, questionable materials subsequently have been removed from district webpages while the investigation continues,” a statement from the district explained. “If there is a violation, we will make certain we act swiftly to ensure we do not have any further violations.”
The Parents would not sit by and let this happen to such a good principal.
But parents and teachers soon rose up after hearing about the ACLU’s stance against Hardison. The Facebook page “Support Albert Hardison” was launched on Tuesday and quickly generated thousands of likes. As of press time, five days after its launch, the page has over 7,600 likes.
“Mr. Hardison at Walnut Hill Elementary/Middle School is being attacked by someone who has no affiliation with the school!” the page reads. “We as parents must come together.”
Such a response is expected when this man has made himself not just a man with authority but a godly leader.
Parent Penny Cardino said that it is the students who approach Hardison and request prayer.
“They go up to Mr. Hardison, ‘I’m having a bad day. Would you pray with me, please?'” she explained.
Oh, that God would give us all such a testimony. That people would see us as someone to pray with.