The middle school I went to was troubled. I used to go home and tell my mother of my experiences at school that was worrisome. What was my mother’s response? She went back to college, studied to become a teacher, and went to teach English and Literature in that same school. Informed by her Christian ethics, she wanted to make a difference. My mother put her heart, soul, and mind into her career as a teacher. I remember countless nights praying for my mother’s students in our home. I remember my family hosting more than one homeless student for weeks until their families found housing. I remember many times my mother’s students uncoerced and unprovoked came to our gatherings of faith.
I am always puzzled by people who say that “God is not in the school.” There are many teachers like my mother who preach the gospel in the school system through their actions and how they show love. I believe it is an insult to teacher’s of faith across America when we say that God is not in the school. Consider the words of writer Sean Palmer, “[I]t is nonsensical, heretical, and offensive to every faithful teacher, student, administrator, and staff member to say that God isn't in schools.” Palmer is correct in his statement. It is offensive to teachers when we say that God is not in the school it is an erasure of their witness.
It is also heretical to say that God is not in the school. Ultimately what we are dealing with here is a problem of theology. God is omnipresent which means that God is everywhere at once. To say that God is not in the schools is to say that God is not omnipresent, or even worst it is to say that humans have control over God’s location. Human’s have no power over God’s omnipresence. A curriculum you might disapprove of cannot banish God; God is still there. It doesn’t matter how many faith groups share the same classroom; God is still there. God is there in the students of faith. God is there in the teachers of faith. God is there because nowhere is devoid of the love of God.