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School has begun. Each morning, we help our children prepare for their day: teeth and hair brushed, shirts tucked in, breakfast completed, then on to car line. We take our irreplaceable treasures and leave them at school for seven to eight hours with people we may not know very well; trusting and hoping that at the end of the day our valuables will be returned to us, happy and safe.

Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. Psalm 127:3-5 NIV

Last week at work, a sheriff came to present information about different dangerous scenarios. There were many take-ways, a few include: taking 15 seconds to look around a restaurant or store to locate the emergency exits; make sure your family is aware of how to exit your house in the event of a fire and where to meet; flee danger instead of hiding as a first option; and lastly if something looks like a bad situation, assume it is and leave. The whole presentation made me more aware of the knowledge and dedication of our first responders, their courage and the risks they take to keep us safe. We live in a dangerous world, but that is no excuse for not knowing what to do in a bad situation.

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8 NIV

During the presentation, the sheriff shared lessons-learned from school violence which caused me to reflect on the responsibility we place on our teachers. One teacher is charged with the safety and education of up to thirty students. I think we take it for granted that these individuals have the challenge to educate our children, but may be called upon to protect them. One example was a first-grade teacher at Sandy Plains Elementary school who placed fifteen, scared six-year olds in the bathroom, turned off the classroom light, pulled a bookcase in front of the door to hide the bathroom door, then locked the door behind her. This lady pulled a bookcase in front of the door, really? She and her charges all survived because she had a plan, executed it, them kept her young students calm and quiet. The gunman entered the room, but saw and heard nothing, so he left. Even when the police officers came to the bathroom door, after the situation was safe, the teacher would not open the door. She was bold enough to require the officer to put his badge under the bathroom door and for the janitor use the keys to unlock the door as proof they were authentic. The wisdom of this teacher allowed fifteen first-graders to be returned to their parents later that afternoon.

Where can wisdom be found? Where does understanding dwell? No mortal comprehends its worth; it cannot be found in the land of the living...It cannot be bought with the finest gold, nor can its price be weighed out in silver...

God understands the way to it and he alone knows where it dwells, for he views the ends of the earth and sees everything under the heavens... And he said to the human race, “The fear of the Lord—that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding.” Job 28:12-28 NIV

As our school year begins, let your teacher know you appreciate them. Thank them in advance for the efforts and care they give to your children every day. They are not perfect, they will make mistakes and say things they regret, but realize if a dangerous event occurs, this dedicated teacher is the one who will be tasked to keep your child safe.

In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us. Titus 2:7-8 NIV

Faithfully pray for our educators and school administrators, support them, encourage them and let them know they are appreciated. They have an incredibly tough job, but with the LORD’s help and our support, our children will be in good hands.

Mighty King of the Universe, You know all things, every minute of every day is under Your control. You are the Commander of angel armies and Ruler over all creation. This day was ask that You pour out wisdom, knowledge and understanding to those who have chosen education as their occupation. May You bless them with the ability to guide and direct our children in the way they should walk, equipping them with intellectual and practical knowledge. Please help these teachers, administrators, and support staff demonstrate genuine concern for the students around them. Please place a hedge of protection around our schools, so our children may learn in safe environments while learning how to face the challenges of this world. As imperfect humans, we as parents must teach our children to depend on You, O LORD, as their Shield of protection, Your Son as Savior and the Holy Spirit to guide them. Amen.

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