Tuesday evening my wife and I attended the spring concert presented by the Payson High School chorus and band. We thoroughly enjoyed the performance, which included such faith-inspiring songs as "Amazing Grace," "Christ, Be Thine the Glory" and "Sing Joy."
During the performance, PHS music director Larry Potvin spoke to the audience about his love for the children. He shared a touching moment about the time his students approached him and asked if they could pray together. I was impressed with Mr. Potvin's confidence to speak of spiritual things within the walls of a school.
Another educator, Roy Sandoval, also recently stepped bravely over the intimidating line that is supposed to separate church and state. As the principal of Payson Elementary School, he was asked to speak at the school district's recent safety forum. He stood tall and said, "Now I am going to tell you something else I believe our kids need -- spiritual guidance." He spoke boldly of what he feels is a vital part of a child's life -- the opportunity to learn of spiritual things, to attend a church and develop an understanding of who they are and their own self-worth.
I applaud these men for their courage and frankness. There is a growing void of spirituality within many families as parents race around their children to earn a living and satisfy wants. We seem to be afraid to talk about the need for spiritual moments in school settings for fear of someone accusing us of violating a law. There is wisdom in looking back and recognizing the positive influence that school prayer surely must have had on our society -- a society that, not long ago, produced a generation of individuals who knew right from wrong, attended church, and would not embrace or accept such blatant violations of God's laws.
It seems ironic that current laws allow our children to sing songs of praise to God in a school choir, but prohibit prayer in the classrooms.
Keep singing, kids!
Richard Haddad - Publisher