Attacks on Christian schools ‘inevitable' amid rising violence permeating society: Christian education expert warns

People gather at a makeshift memorial for victims of a shooting at The Covenant School campus, in Nashville, Tennessee, March 29, 2023. - A heavily armed trans-identified woman killed three young children and three staff in what appeared to be a carefully planned attack at a private Christian elementary school in Nashville on March 27, 2023, before being shot dead by police. Chief of Police John Drake named the suspect as Audrey Hale, 28, who the officer later said identified as transgender. | BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images

The head of an organization dedicated to supporting Christian private schools in the United States and abroad believes violence against Christian private academic institutions in the U.S. is on the rise and “inevitable.”

On Monday, a trans-identified woman entered The Covenant School of Nashville, Tennessee, and opened fire, killing three children and three adults before being shot dead by police.

Although a specific motive has not been officially endorsed, police have noted that the shooter, 28-year-old Audrey Hale, had written works expressing contempt for the targeted private Christian school, a ministry of Covenant Presbyterian Church (Presbyterian Church in America), in the Green Hills neighborhood.

Larry Taylor, president of the Association of Christian Schools International, told The Christian Post on Friday that he was "grieving and praying for the families" impacted by the mass shooting. His organization has also offered support for those traumatized by the tragedy.

Although Taylor doesn't believe violence against Christian schools and other entities is as bad in the U.S. as it is elsewhere in the world, he lamented that with “the trend and the combination of the ultra-polarized citizenship we have, we are seeing an increase of violent protests and attacks."

“So, I don't think today we are worried about our Christian schools and churches being attacked, but if the trend continues, I think it would be inevitable,” said Taylor. “Not just for Christian schools, but also for other faith-based services. I don't think private Christian schools or churches or any faith-based organizations, I don't think they're immune to the inevitable violence that is permeating our society.”

He added that he's “proud of our Christian schools in the United States and around the world for the safety precautions that they take both for the well-being of children and their physical safety."

Taylor’s comments come as debates have raged in Congress about advancing possible legislation to increase school security, such as Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas championing two bills, the Securing Our Schools Act and the Protect Our Children’s Schools Act.

In comments made Thursday on the Senate floor, Cruz pointed out that he had previously sponsored similar legislation in the past session, only for it to be blocked by Senate Democrats.

“I wish I wasn’t back here today. I wish this had passed last year,” said Cruz. “We have an opportunity right now to double the police officers on campus and keep kids safe.”

“These bills would be the most significant investment in school security ever enacted by Congress — doubling the number of police officers in schools and improving the physical security of our schools. I call on my colleagues to act with me and pass this legislation now to protect our children in school.”

Cruz said his bill would also allocate $10 billion to assist mental health professionals on campus and $2.56 billion for enhanced security on school campuses. 

Democrat Sen. Patty Murray of Washington state objected to the proposed legislation, arguing in comments on the floor that “they are not serious attempts to make our kids safer.”

“You don't come down here and introduce a piece of legislation, and two minutes later, demand that the entirety of the Senate agree to it without any debate, any negotiation,” Murray argued.

“They're not even fully formed pieces of legislation. This thing is so ham-handed that one of the bills, there's literally brackets and question marks in the text.”

Regarding what legislation he preferred Congress to pass on this issue, Taylor told CP that his organization’s big priority with any new laws is that they give “equal access” to private schools.

“Private school families are tax-paying citizens. They add value to the common good of every community. Even so, I would say, whether it's federal or state, if there's any type of legislation, there should be no strings attached, equal access,” he said.

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