by RANDALL MURPHREE | AFA Journal Editor
"Parents must not abdicate their parental responsibilities
to their childs public school," says Finn Laursen. Laursen
is executive director of Christian Educators Association International
(CEAI). He is himself a product of public schools and worked 32
years in public schools.
Founded in 1953, CEAI became the first national organization of
professional Christian educators working in public, private and
From the beginning, the group has served the education community
by encouraging, equipping and empowering Christian educators in
public and private education.
For many, CEAI is the perfect alternative to the National Education
Association, a teachers union that has been leaning hard to the
political left for decades. Like NEA, CEAI provides many benefits
for its members, such as professional liability insurance. It also
views teaching as a God-given calling and ministry and promotes
the Judeo-Christian ethic in public schools.
issue concerns: gay agenda, abortion
CEAI does not become involved in local school debates.
However, when moral concerns or parental rights are at stake, CEAI
is eager to see parent-friendly results. For example, in Lawton,
Oklahoma, CEAI regional director David Williams learned in January
that the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network was attempting
to form an affiliate at his sons high school. Lawton is a
city of 81,000 in Southwest Oklahoma.
Williams, who teaches in another school district, went into action.
First he sought prayer from believers in the area. The local paper
published his letter to the editor, and he enlisted the help of
KVRS radio station manager Dan Allen. KVRS is the local American
Family Radio station. Next came a local TV story addressing equal
access and parental involvement. Local church members distributed
materials by ex-gays to students at the high school. Hundreds of
E-mails went to local politicians, school board members, teachers
"To make a long story short," says Williams, "the
club was voted down by the student government. What was intended
to quietly appear without parent notification was thwarted."
One result of the project was a practical 10-step plan of action
that Williams (firstname.lastname@example.org)
will furnish to others who face the homosexual agenda in local public
As a former public school counselor and administrator, Laursen
agrees that teachers legally function in the role of parents when
they supervise and teach children during the school day. However,
he says schools should always respect the parent-child relationship.
As an example Laursen recently commended the school board in Roseville,
California, for its decision regarding students leaving campus for
medical procedures including abortion. The school board was expected
to amend district policy to allow students to secure such procedures
without parental knowledge.
However, when parents learned of the proposed change, they packed
the January 4 board meeting and found the board responsive to their
concerns and rights.
School spokesman Larry Brubaker told AFA Journal that, while
this issue is certainly divisive in many school systems, the Roseville
board stood with their parents.
"The school will not release students for medical reasons
without parental permission," he said. The city of 45,000 is
near Sacramento and has 8,000 students in its school district.
CEAI is not politically aggressive, and its leaders take
care not to enter the public arena in a combative stance. One CEAI
vision for 2005 is to improve education in America through prayer
"The goal," said Williams, "is to enroll one million
prayer partners who are committed to praying for their own local
schools. The prayer focus is to have a teacher encouragement group
offering prayer support in every school nationwide."
The over-riding purpose of everything the group does is defined
in this to preserve traditional Christian values of faith
and family in our schools. CEAI offers personnel in public or Christian
schools administrators, teachers and support staff
a place to call their professional home.
For more information:
(for the 2005 prayer project), or call toll free