A School Principal’s Letter of Resignation
My friend Mike Metarko recently resigned his post as principal of Hanover Elementary School in Bethlehem, PA.
His resignation letter tells the story of why he would do such a radical thing and abandon what has been his livelihood for many years.
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is with strong conviction that I write this letter as my formal resignation effective Thursday, July 1, 2010 from my position as Principal of Hanover Elementary School, where I have devoted the last five of my 14 years in the Bethlehem Area School District. Though there is no job at present to which I will be going, God has clearly persuaded me through His Word and through my research into the foundations of our educational system that I must end my career in public education.
For the last fourteen years, I have worked diligently to be the “salt and light” spoken of in Matthew 5:13, but I have realized that while I am plugging up pinholes in the dike that holds back the tumultuous waters of public education, the improperly laid foundation has been eroding beneath our feet. God states, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” (Proverbs 1:7a). This means that neither God nor moral character can be separated from true education; in fact, the glorification of God and the building of Biblical moral character must be the basis of true education. In the words of Benjamin Rush, Signer of the Declaration of Independence, “We profess to be republicans [in form of government], and yet we neglect the only means of establishing and perpetuating our republican forms of government, that is, the universal education of our youth in the principles of Christianity by the means of the Bible. For this Divine Book, above all others, favors that equality among mankind, that respect for just laws, and those sober and frugal virtues, which constitute the soul of republicanism.”
But what have we done? We have thrown God, Bibles and prayer out of our schools based upon an inaccurate interpretation of the “Separation clause”, while openly proselytizing the religion of Secular Humanism (Smith v. Board of School Commissioners of Mobile County, Ala). We have divorced morality from education and focused only on what special interest groups perceive as the “right” content knowledge. We manage the masses at the expense of the individual. As with most educators in the system, I have been sincere in my efforts to apply the doctrines of those we call the founding fathers of education, but I have realized that I have been sincerely wrong. My research into the real philosophies and beliefs behind men such as Rousseau, Dewey, Hall, etc. has opened my eyes. I am now aware that not only have I not been working for God, I have been working in complete opposition to Him. I mistakenly thought I was on neutral ground: there is no neutral territory.
That said; let me assure you that my argument is not against those I have worked with for the past 14 years. I have a love for my colleagues and friends; most are wonderful teachers of a curriculum they have been given, most truly love the children and will do anything for them, most sincerely try to improve our children, our city, our nation. But we have all taken our eye off the mark of what the chief end of man is. The nation’s statist system of public education is the real issue.
The Bible is overwhelmingly clear in that the primary responsibility in educating a child rests with the parents (Deuteronomy 6, Ephesians 6:4, etc.). We need parents to be parents once again, families to be families once again, fathers to be the father and leader, mothers to be the mother and nurturer. It does not “take a village to raise a child”; it takes a family entrusted with the Word of God. Our children are not to be wards of the State; on the contrary, they are creations of a God of love, justice, and redemption who loves us so much He sent Christ to die for us so that if we believe in Him and profess Him as Lord and Savior, He will grant us eternal life. He does not need us, but we need Him. He has given us the roadmap to life and to education: the Bible. I pray that He may manifest Himself in your life as he has clearly done so in mine.
Michael J. Metarko