Some Words From a Long-Time Christian and Public School Teacher

I must say that reading the student voice brings back memories, many not so good. I was a student in the “old days” and I see that not much has changed. When I came to PCC there were only two buildings and we had all our classes in the elementary and high school buildings. We had to cross the tracks every day for lunch, dinner, church, and classes. Many times a train caused us to be late. That has all changed, but apparently, many things are still the same.

I have been a teacher for 17 years now and at least in my opinion a successful one. The first eight years were spent teaching in a Christian School and the last nine in a college prep public high school.

I still remember vividly, especially since StudentV has reminded me, of such unnatural and ridiculous concepts as 1. being socialed, 2. the dating parlor, 3. the no touch rule, 4. never being allowed to question authority, 5. the demerit system, 6. 10:30 lights out, 7. the dress code, 8. the whole D.C. situation……..I could go on and on! I am almost 40 now and I still can’t get over how I was treated when I was 20. I have a son in the tenth grade who is starting to consider his college options and I cannot in good conscience recommend PCC.

If I was so unhappy there, why did I stay? Well, once you have invested a year into a place, it is difficult to transfer without losing ground. I went to PCC, yes because I believe the Lord led me there, and because of its emerging reputation of training teachers. I have to admit that in some respects, I was much better prepared for teaching than many of my colleagues starting out. However, my philosophy has changed over the years. I am now proud to be a Christian serving in the public schools. I might add that I met my wife there and we look back on our dating life at PCC and consider it most unusual. It is truly a miracle that we conceived our lasting relationship under such (what now seem unthinkable) circumstances.

PCC seems to be in the business of hiring robot teachers that train robot students, or at least that is what it appears they are trying to do. I would like to see a study of the turnover in faculty at PCC. What many students may not realize is that faculty are not treated with much more respect than the students. I have known many, many to go to PCC to teach for a few years and then move on.

What Dr. Horton has established in Pensacola is much like a commune. A core of long standing teachers and administrators (not many) have been brainwashed, in my opinion, into believing that this is all of God and
functions as the almighty “MINISTRY”. When anyone questions the authority, be it student or faculty member, they are dealt with immediately and severely. I marvel that this has all continued now 22 years (much longer if you include the K – 12 school). Is this because God has raised up this Ministry….? I won’t touch that one.

I admonish studentV for its courage. It is finally possible to speak out without fear of reprisal [this, unfortunately, is not entirely true anymore – eds.] – although I am sure every effort is being made. College students need to be questioning authority and be allowed to speak their minds. They need to be able to make mistakes and learn from them, regardless of what may happen to the “Mininstry’s” reputation. As a parent of three, I am learning to give more and more freedom to my children as they get older, along with more responsibility. To send them to PCC and take away their freedom is not what I can encourage in good conscience. I was a witness to many a student that when crushed by the almighty power of the student handbook (and its inhumane enforcement) rebelled in a way that they would not have otherwise. Hasn’t Dr. Horton learned in all these years that severe restriction and unnecessary rules are counterproductive? I guess not! I might also dare to suggest that Mrs. Horton may be even more responsible than Dr. Horton. Of course we will all answer some day and that includes myself and the Hortons.

I live in the “real world” with all its problems, not in a make believe world of PCC. I must say it has many resemblances to extreme teachings of other groups I will not mention here. I submit that Christians need to take a part in public institutions and not withdraw into their own private worlds. I am reminded of Jesus and the many times he dealt with the individual person and not the letter of the Old Testament law. I don’t think it is too far a stretch to compare PCC with the Pharisees and other groups in the Bible and in history that have been caught up in legalism.

I know this must all sound like sour grapes, but I am not bitter against PCC for the years I spent there. I earned a degree at PCC. I believe I have had an impact on my students for many years and I am very involved in my Church. My children go to the public schools and I support them and have become involved in their education. It is my belief that nothing will change at PCC until Dr. Horton leaves (he has no
children to pass the baton to like Bob Jones). This is not to be hateful at all, but I am simply stating what I think is a fact. Thank you for letting me share some of my opinions.

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