Friday, September 28, 2007

I Was At The Pole--Were You?

IN THE NEWS: According to World Magazine, an accident left a Czech 18-year-old motorcycle racer unconscious for 45 minutes, but he stunned emergency workers by awakening and speaking perfect English. One of his teammates said he'd been trying to learn English, but only had a vague understanding of the language. According to his friend, when the racer awoke, he sounded like a BBC broadcaster, but as his memory returned, his ability to speak English faded.

What exactly is this "At the Pole" statement I threw at you in my title?

"See you at the pole" is an annual meeting of public prayer held nation wide since 1991. Students gather at their school's flagpole, outside of regular classroom hours. Starting in the year 2006, this observance will be held on every fourth Wednesday in September.

So, on Wednesday September 26, I was my daughter's primary school--before school hours--at their flag pole with other students, teachers, and mothers praying for our school, its administration, and our students. It was really nice. Hopefully, we'll have even more students and family next year. It was slow getting the word out. Our high school usually has a HUGE turnout--with numbers in the hundreds.

Some people believe events like this at a public school are prohibited by the principle of separation of church and state. But in fact, public schools are NOT religion-free zones, and prayer is NOT prohibited. Most student-led prayers are not only constitutional, but are considered a form of speech protected by the U.S. Constitution. Our country isn't perfect, but freedom of religion and speech are pretty nice perks. I know I take them for granted.

It's only been a few weeks into the school year, but I've already been shaking my head.
A mother in one of the other kindergarten classes wanted to bring in cupcakes and party stuff for her child who was celebrating a birthday. How nice. Well, she brought in party favor bags for the whole class, but the bags said, "Bite Me, Lick Me, Eat Me" on them. Where she got bags like that I don't know. But, SHEESH! Kindergartners can't read, but parents and other older children can. Those poor teachers really scrambled for other "more appropriate" bags to send the toys home in. After that incident, I know my child and school will need all the prayer support they can get.

Maybe we'll "see you at the pole" next year in your own town.

Have a great weekend!


Chicki said...

Proud of you, girl!

When we first moved to Atlanta in 1994 my daughter was going into her sophomore year of high school. That was my first year participating in "See You at the Pole." I also did it the following year. Since this is the Bibe belt, the participatiion was incredible.

Church involvement with schools down here is VERY different than it is up North. I remember my first parent's meeting for the marching band at Riverdale High School when the teacher said, "We don't have rehearsals on Wednesday because that's church night." I almost fell out of my seat!

This is also one of the reasons I love Atlanta so much...

lainey bancroft said...

Sounds great Jennifer!'

As for the goodie bags. Hmm. A gazillion years ago, when I was in kindergarten, the little Valentines heart candies said things like that and no one thought anything of it. Now, with kids in the know the way they are, its a completely different story. And I'd think those bags would be most likely found in an adult novelty shop. Definitely not something I'd take to my kids school. :0

Thanks for the T-13 nod. You're a sweetie!
email me if you think you have time for a freebie read...with only one teensy condition attached. :)
lainey at laineybancroft dot com

DD said...

What a horrible lapse in judgement on that mother's part - those bags were definitely not appropriate for that age group.

Stephanie said...

That's wonderful thing to pray for! With school systems this day and age, I don't even know WHERE to begin to pray for them!

And shame on that parent. That was just inappropriate!

Cynthia Brayden-Thomas said...

Oops. Poor Mom. I'll bet she bought those bags--in a hurry--at a local Dollar Store. I can picture her, harried, with kids in tow ("Mommy! Can we buy that piece of useless crap I'll break before we even pull out of the parking lot? Why not? I neeeeeeed it!"), She saw the bags, said, "Good. Goody bags. No, honey, not today. We have to get home to make dinner and get those cupcakes made. Stop hitting your sister. No, we can't buy that today. Maybe next time--please, don't touch the porcelain figurines--oh, crap, let's get out of here..." and threw the goody bags into her carriage. (I know you know this woman. I do!) She probably got the cupcakes made and packaged at about midnight, with her eyes half-shut and dinner dishes still piled in the sink. Even kindergarteners have homework to do, nowadays....Anyhow, I'll bet she never even noticed the slogans on the bag, or if she did, she didn't even really *read* it. In passing, maybe. But she probably wanted to get the job done.


It could happen to any of us, really. You know, judge not lest ye be judged is my motto. Most of the time, anyway.

I think the prayer thing is awesome, Jennifer! I wonder if we could do that at my kids' school? Hmmm...

Keep on praying!

Anonymous said...

I've never actually gone myself to the "at the pole" meetings. But, I dropped my daughter off there this year and was amazed at the turn out.

When her brothers went there was usually only a few, and no adults, just a few kids. It's been a few years since they've been (they've graduated and gone on to college now) - but this year there were teachers there handing out donuts and juice and kids from all over. It was pretty cool. Gives me hope for the few years she'll be in high school.

Patricia W. said...

Never heard of it when I lived of North, or even the first couple of years we were here in the South.

Last year, we saw the gathering and were wondering what it was. We could tell folks were praying as we slowly passed them as we made our way through the drop off line.

This year, it's all we can do (with one car) to get our son to school on time, me to the carpool, and the two youngest to daycare. Everybody out the house by 7AM. We would have had to leave even earlier. But I wish we could have participated. Maybe next year...