Instruction in the Principles of Freedom: Whose Job?

Instruction in the Principles of Freedom: Whose Job?

2019 | Week of August 26 | Radio Transcript #1322

“Children should be educated and instructed in the principles of freedom.” So said John Adams, Founding Father and 2nd president of the United States. We owe much to the fact that Adams was himself a student of the principles of freedom. He firmly believed that the only way to preserve and protect our American heritage of freedom was to train the next generation in the ways of liberty.

Predating so-called “public schools” as we know them today, Adams had to have been at least partially and perhaps mainly referring to the role of parents in this education and instruction of children in the principles of freedom.

As we start the 2019-20 school year, I have to ask myself, do we do a good job of educating and instructing our children in the principles of freedom? Last year, the Wisconsin K-12 public school system had a statewide enrollment of just under 859,000.[1] Over 122,500 children attended K-12 private school in Wisconsin,[2] and over 21,500 Wisconsin kids were homeschooled.[3] That’s over 1 million young people in primary and secondary education in Wisconsin last year. And mind you, these children really are our future.

Were they all learning the principles of freedom, the principle that parents are responsible for their children’s education and have a right to send their children to private school or to home school them? Were they learning about the history of their freedom, about the beliefs and principles that laid the foundation for their liberty?

Some of those children may, in fact, be learning the principles of freedom. Most, I fear, are not. Schools and teachers have our children during the most formative years of their lives. Quite literally, they are in charge of the education of the next generation, of the individuals who will perpetuate the human race, the state of Wisconsin, the country and, yes, Christianity. Schools shape the future of America.

As you send your child back to public or private school this year, here are a few things to consider. What will your child learn at school and how will it impact their worldview and their decisions? Is your child aware of his/her right to freedom of speech and to the free exercise of religion even in the school?

Public, and even some private schools have become places where Christians students and teachers are frequently discriminated against and ridiculed. However, Christian students and teachers do not leave their First Amendment rights at the door when they enter their school.  Help your kids know their rights when they go back to school this year.

On our Wisconsin Family Council website,, we have a number of reliable resources to educate you and your child on First Amendment rights on the school grounds and in the classroom.

Our kids are under a constant barrage of information, competing worldviews and, quite honestly, all too often, out-and-out lies, at school. As an educator, and a former school board member, I’m keenly aware of the pressure placed on young people in school to accept certain ideas or to conform to popular attitudes and thinking.

John Adams’ insight from over two hundred years ago still applies today; kids should be instructed in the principles of freedom. But, depending on where your child attends school, that job may be entirely up to you, the parent, or to the grandparent, or the aunt or uncle or older sibling.

Every one of us needs to be in the business of helping shape the next generation of Christians and citizens. We’ve left it up to the government, the schools, the school boards and the teachers for way too long; and we’re reaping the results in an entire generation of Americans that fails to grasp the principles of liberty, personal responsibility and accountability.

That’s not to say that every school, every school board or every teacher is negatively influencing your child. Far from it. But they need your help. The family, as it has always been, and certainly as Adams would have seen it, is the most important key to a child’s academic success and certainly the most significant means by which the principles of freedom are transmitted from generation to generation.

For more information on how you can support the work of Wisconsin Family Council, call us at 888-378-7395 or visit us online at

This is Julaine Appling for Wisconsin Family Council, reminding you the Prophet Hosea said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”




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