head of school'S Blog

Are Your Children Safe in a Private Christian School?

This past week was a particularly trying week with the loss of 17 student lives at the high school in Parkland, Florida. And with this tragedy, now comes the endless discussions on guns, shootings, the second amendment, and the safety of our schools. I want to take a moment to examine the latter while skipping over the others. The media and politicians can deal with all of the regulations, and we can discuss the truth about whether or not our schools are safe.  You see, when these types of events happen, human nature immediately assumes the worst.  The mainstream media will capitalize on the event because they are all about news cycles. The longer they can prolong our thoughts on the safety of our children, they can continue to cover that story. Simply put, it is good for their business. Putting all of that aside, what is the truth about the safety of your children in a private Christian school?

The truth is that school shootings are not on the riseContrary to what has been published, we have not had 300 school shootings in the last five years. That would mean we would have had 5 shootings each month for the past five years. So where do these numbers come from, and why? One source, Everytown Research Group, has listed every shooting since 2013. If one delves into their research, you will find that many of the shootings listed are suicides and many others are shots fired with no one injured.  Some of those shots fired are just accidents with no intent to harm anyone.  Also, it should be noted that, of those 300 shootings listed, roughly 60% of all fatalities have happened at colleges and universities and not at K-12 schools. It is obvious to the casual observer that the data is displayed in a way as to cause alarm and fear. It is politically motivated.

We have approximately 133,000 elementary and secondary schools in America representing over 51 million students. When you do the math, that means that 0.0000005 percent of students have been murdered at a school. Another study states that students have a 1 in 2,700,000 risk of being shot and killed. (This is far less than the risk of being struck by lighting.) And while the death of any child is heartbreaking, the percentage of risk is hardly high enough to cause alarm. On a side note, none of these shootings listed by Everytown happened at a private Christian school, meaning the risk for serious injury at school is even less at a place like The King’s Academy. 

One last study was put out by CAPE, Council for American Private Education, and gives a student’s perspective on violence at school.

Percentage of students, age 12-18, who in 2011 reported... 

 

Public

Private

Having experienced violent victimization at, or on the way to/from, school

4

2

Seeing hate-related graffiti at, or on the way to/from, school

30

13

Fearing being attacked or harmed at, or on the way to/from, school

4

2

That street gangs were present at, or on the way to/from, school

19

2

That they avoided certain places in school for fear of their own safety

5

2


The facts reveal that your child is extremely safe at The King’s Academy or any other private school in the nation. I am hopeful that this brief look into the statistics of shootings will give you the peace of mind to know that God is in control and that your child is safe. Beyond the statistical analysis, Scripture is clear that we should not give in to fear. 2 Timothy 1:7 says, "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."

As Christians, we know that God is in control. Matthew 10 tells us that "the very hairs of your head are all numbered." And He also tells his disciples that we have more value than the sparrows, so we are not to give into the spirit of fear. Lastly, in Matthew 6, Jesus reminds us of how His heavenly father takes care of the lilies of the field, the birds in the air, and states how much more will He take care of us.

God loves us, and He loves your child.  God loves The King’s Academy and ultimately, He is our Protector. We will continue to be proactive in our lockdown drills, buying the latest equipment for safety, and being prepared for emergencies. But in the end, our hope and our trust is in the Lord. Let’s not give in to the spirit of fear.

In Him,

Scott Meadows
Head of School, The King’s Academy

Posted by kriss.hayward on Wednesday February 21, 2018 at 08:34AM
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The Everlasting Gift

This really is my favorite time of year.  We just had Thanksgiving, the air has turned cooler, the leaves are turning to red and yellow, and Christmas decorations are everywhere.  I absolutely love it.

The other day, as I purchased something from Target, the cashier placed a Christmas catalog into my bag.  When I got home and found it, I was flooded with memories of my own childhood as well as early Christmases with our children.  When I was a child, my parents would let us take a catalog and circle all the things we wanted for Christmas.  My wife and I did the same thing with our four children. Now, we never promised to get them everything they circled, but it was fun to see each year what was most important to them.  In some ways, it has been sad to see our youngest begin to ask for more grown-up items (e.g. a cell phone), knowing she has outgrown the toy phase.

I remember one year that all I really wanted was an electric race car set.  When I got it, I was so excited! I tore open the package, I opened the box, found a spot, and put the track together.  For a good hour, I played with that race track.  And then, I put it away and never put it back together again.  Like so many toys over the years, I thought each one would bring me everlasting joy, but it didn’t.  Fast forward many years later, and as I buy gifts for my own children, it is the same old story: “Dad, just buy me this or that, and it is the last thing I will ever want!”  And then, as each child opens their gifts, history repeats itself.

We all know that possessions only provide limited happiness, but yet, we continue to seek after them.  The only real peace and happiness in this life comes in the form of a person, Jesus Christ.  My hope and prayer this Christmas season is that we remember that special gift that God gave us many years ago.  When God sent His Son down to the earth to be born in a manger that first Christmas, salvation came to all men.  As the angels sang, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will towards men” (Matthew 2:14). 

Of course, you are going to give gifts to your loved ones, and you should. Still, let’s not lose sight of what is most important: the person and work of Jesus Christ. I encourage you to share that gift with those around you this holiday season.

Merry Christmas!

Scott Meadows
Principal, The King’s Academy

Posted by kriss.hayward on Thursday November 30, 2017 at 10:39AM
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13 Reasons Why and Other Media

Normally, I would not write a blog post giving parenting advice to the parents at The King's Academy.  Parents who send their students to Christian schools tend to be the type that keep current on trends, movies, and other media.  However, this particular television series, and its potential impact on teens, has prompted me to write this piece. (Note: Reading reviews is an important step any time you question a book, a movie, an app, a video game - not just for this particular film.)
 
13 Reasons Why is a television series about a teenage girl who is bullied at school, is raped, and eventually commits suicide.  (Currently, it is being shown on Netflix.) All of the topics that are raised by the protagonist in this series are worthy of discussion.  However, that does not mean that I would endorse the show for my own daughter to watch; in fact, I do not endorse it for any TKA students. The following is a list of reasons why I would encourage every parent to think twice before letting their student watch this series:

1. The rating on this series is TV Mature. It involves some very disturbing events including rape and suicide.  The rating by IMDb calls several episodes, "TRIGGERING," INCREDIBLY TRIGGERING," and "EXTREMELY UNCOMFORTABLE: BE PREPARED."
 
2. The themes in this series are very adult in nature.  It is the parent's job to have these discussions with their teens, not a movie. 
 
3.  The series can give the wrong impression on suicide. Suicide is rarely related to one incident in a person's life but rather a culmination of many events.  This film could unintentionally glorify the act of suicide and encourage others to do the same.
 
4.  Students do not need to see a rape in action to know it is wrong, just as they do not need to see a murder to know it is wrong. This series is graphic and shows a prolonged rape scene.
 
Parenting is never easy, and saying "no" to certain videos, video games, movies, and other things your children will ask to do is difficult.  But many times, it is the right thing to do.  I believe this is one of those cases. 
 
I would encourage any parent to read the reviews  (linked here is one for this movie from a good resource, commonsensemedia.org) and preview it first before allowing their teenager to watch.  The topics in this film are worthy of discussion.  In my opinion, parents can have these discussions with their children without having to watch this film.  As the parent, it's your decision. The school cannot dictate morality, but we can inform parents so they are better prepared to have these types of conversations with their students.
 
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.  Philippians 4:8

Posted by kriss.hayward on Monday May 8, 2017 at 09:19PM
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Our Mission is Clear

This past year, we embarked upon The King’s Academy’s first-ever strategic plan. As a part of this process, we commissioned a committee to rewrite the mission statement for the school.  The original mission statement was an entire paragraph that was not easily recited or remembered. The team was instructed to come up with a shorter version that embodied all of the values of the original statement. It was critical that the school kept its identity during the whole process, and therefore, the team members selected were very important. The committee was made up of several long-term employees as well as founding members of the school. The resulting statement, The King's Academy is a Christ-centered school that inspires academic excellence, servant leadership, and enduring relationships, is the new mission statement of The King’s Academy.  

In the past two years, we have seen the school increase our Advanced Placement (AP) offerings from 12 to 16 courses. We also began our one-to-one technology initiative this year, with full implementation expected in 2019-20. Lastly, we have placed an emphasis on adding more STEM classes. However, academics are just one important part of the mission. The last two parts of the mission statement, dealing with servant leadership and enduring relationships, are just as integral to the school, and those components are what I want to focus on in this post.  

In the beginning, The King’s Academy was founded by a group of individuals from Young Life Ministries, and at their core, they believed that building relationships and spiritual development were central to the mission of the school. Over the past year, the administration has taken several steps to ensure that we never stray from the founders’ original vision for The King’s Academy. This past year, we hired a campus pastor, Rob Starke, to replace the position of Spiritual Life Director. This new position has the responsibility for overseeing the spiritual climate of the entire campus. Rob has renewed our focus on God’s word, making it central to all we do, including our chapel services.  

The King’s Academy continues to emphasize our retreats and service trips. During our recent service week, our high school students were sharing the gospel on mission trips, locally and abroad. Students on our signature trip to Tecate, Mexico, built 16 homes, and other students served on the new overseas trips to Belize and Japan. These service trips and the retreats in the fall are so important to both the spiritual development and the relationship-building that the TKA founders believed necessary.

Our commitment to keep our students focused on Christ is just as strong today as it was in the beginning of The King’s Academy. We believe that you can have both strong academics and spiritual development. They are not mutually exclusive, nor should they be. As The King's Academy moves forward, we ask that you continue to pray for our faculty and staff as we seek to follow the mission statement’s three prongs of academic excellence, servant leadership, and enduring relationships.

Posted by kriss.hayward on Sunday April 23, 2017 at 08:15PM
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Scott Meadows

Scott Meadows
Head of School

 


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