Contact: Finn Laursen, CEAI, 440-250-9566
MEDIA ADVISORY, Oct. 11 /Christian Newswire/ -- "Senseless violence has erupted again in a place we want to believe is safe for children, a school," says Finn Laursen, Executive Director of Christian Educators Association International. "There is a way to turn this trend around."
Yesterday in Cleveland at SuccessTech Academy, a ninth grade student who was suspended from school for a fight earlier in the week walked down a hallway with a blazing gun in each hand, shooting two students and two teachers. The gunman later apparently took his own life.
"He's crazy. He threatened to blow up our school. He threatened to stab everybody," one student said, expressing the general dismay.
"This detestable act took place in a school one might not expect; it took place in fine school, a school noted for success as its name implies," says Laursen, a former principal and superintendent from the Cleveland area.
SuccessTech Academy is a small, nontraditional, alternative high school in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. The SuccessTech community is known for its high standards and a rigorous curriculum that promotes cooperative learning, inquiry-based problem solving, and communication skills, that emphasizes technology and entrepreneurship. The learning environment is focused on students' belief in their ability to succeed.
"While the purposes of the school are highly laudable, students in today's educational systems are often deprived of those values that can bring peace into their lives and abate violence. I am not talking about bringing the church into schools but rather balancing the curriculum with respect for values and spiritual development. The U.S. educational system began under the covering of churches, and they were safe places. Now religion is considered by many educators to be outside the acceptable marketplace of ideas, and look what is happening."
"Meanwhile, there is something that educators can do immediately. Through our national network of Christian educators, most of whom are in public schools, I am encouraging CEAI members and friends to pray for all those touched by this latest tragedy."
"In the long run, we must cover our children and their schools with prayer on a daily basis and be willing to walk out our faith openly in our schools. The faith community must be willing to take back responsibility for the protection of our children," says Laursen.
To provide a vehicle for prayer, CEAI offers free use of its national school prayer website at www.raiseyourhand.us that has every school in the United States in its data base, including SuccessTech Academy, with the purpose of posting prayer requests for each school and gathering around that school a prayer team connected electronically.
To activate a prayer website, one volunteer per school is needed as a prayer coach to post the prayers. Volunteers may connect with the CEAI National Prayer Administrator, Judy Turpen at email@example.com.
(Finn Laursen is the Executive Director of CEAI, est. 1953.
To interview Mr. Laursen contact Doreen at 440-250-9566 or firstname.lastname@example.org)