Public school students who've endured ridicule for their Christian beliefs created a newly released video, titled "The Thaw," in which they ask, "Why can't I pray in school? Why am I called names because I believe in marriage the way God designed it? Why can't Tim Tebow praise God after making a touchdown without causing a national uproar?"
These questions, and many others, are posed by Christian students who've experienced censorship from teachers and even bullying from classmates who ostracize them for their biblical worldview on marriage and the right to life.
Gary Brown, founder of Reach America, a national education organization based in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, told The Christian Post on Tuesday that one of the motivating factors that spurred the creation of the video happened last year, when a public school teacher asked students to write an essay, titled "I Believe," without using the names God or Jesus Christ in their papers.
Brown said his aim is to enable students to create a Christ-centered counter culture in which they can study and grow in a supportive environment where they're not ostracized for their opinions and can freely disagree with points of view as they embark on their own path.
The students' video that addresses bullying in public schools has already reached 22,000 views on YouTube and can also be seen on the Reach America website. According to Brown, who's been an education consultant for more than 20 years, attacks against Christian students is a national problem; and the video has already prompted many students to reach out to him and share their stories of censorship in America's public schools.
"I've received a lot of feedback from students," Brown said, as he described how one student said he was bullied to such an extent that his parents decided to pull him out of public school and enroll him in a homeschool program.
"The students who created the video are determined not to be frozen out," said the Reach America founder, emphasizing that his program takes students out of the school building but allows them to engage teachers and students in chat room discussions so they can negotiate through a system that doesn't allow Christian thought, while they have an impact on other students in their class. Brown said he tells students "it's about winning the person, not the argument."
Since the video was posted online four weeks ago, Brown said he has received a lot of interest from people across the country who want to implement the education partnership program. He also told CP that, in his opinion, teachers who censor their Christian students are often hiding behind the school's policies and say, "'there can be no religious expression,' and they do it in the name of 'rights for all.'"
Brown believes many teachers are failing to reflect on the founding of the nation, which allows for freedom of speech and freedom of religion. "The founding of this nation is based on three things: the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and the Bible, which provides the moral foundation on which we built the country." And according to Brown, the nation is losing its foundation, and the students who made the video are "determined to see their country as one nation under God – again."