South Arbor Charter Academy, a “free” public charter school in Michigan, has recently outraged the parents of students attending there. For years, the school has hosted a wall referred to as the “Hall of Heroes” to inspire children. Images of Albert Einstein, Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Betsy Ross and the fallen astronauts of the Columbia space shuttle have previously graced the wall. However, someone decided that a new generation of “inspirers” should be in the spotlight; and so, they completely painted over the old “heroes” with the likes of Oprah, Barack Obama, Walt Disney, Steve Jobs, J.K. Rowling and Maya Angelou. Needless to say, some parents were outraged.
While many of the former “heroes” definitely have both good and bad points, they were much better than the new “heroes” who are emblazoned on the wall.
Craig Bergman told Fox News’ Todd Starnes, “This is no longer a hall of heroes. Now we have a hall of celebrities.”
“The mere fact that you have talent doesn’t mean you are a hero,” he said. “I want someone who made a life investment – perhaps they even sacrificed their life – so that our society and so our world could be a better place.”
I agree with his assessment of what a hero should be. American founding father Noah Webster did too. He defines a hero as:
A man of distinguished valor, intrepidity or enterprise in danger; as a hero in arms.
Bergman, like many parents, is concerned that children attending the school for four years will begin to think of a hero in terms of their celebrity or business status rather than considering their self-sacrifice, courage, intellect, contribution to mankind, character or bravery.
“Previously, it was very well-balanced and respected a lot of different thoughts,” he told Starnes. “Instead, it’s become more of a political issue. There’s definitely a certain genre of pictures here.”
Academy spokeswoman Jennifer Hoff told Starnes, “Heroes Hall has been a part of the school’s fabric for years. In fact, the old mural had been on the wall for at least 11 years. As with all things over time, it was showing its age from the activities of being an active school and needed some repair.”
So, instead of providing a “touch up” to the mural, the school just decided on new celebrity “heroes”? That doesn’t make any sense, unless you consider how the American culture views heroes.
She went on to say the Hall of Heroes is a “tangible way for students to see that despite circumstances in life, you can achieve great things through hard work, dedication, and the moral focus virtues” and that those virtues emphasize, “wisdom, respect, gratitude, self-control, perseverance, courage, encouragement, compassion and integrity.”
Did anyone explain how Obama, Maya Angelou or Oprah demonstrate any of these qualities?
Hoff said that Steve Jobs demonstrated integrity while J.K. Rowling showed wisdom. She further said that Obama and Disney demonstrated courage, Oprah was compassionate and Angelou demonstrated perseverance.
When I was a kid, heroes came in all sorts of displays, most memorable of modern times were soldiers, policemen, doctors, nurses, and firemen. Historically, I recall how my school would honor George Washington, William Bradford, Sergeant Alvin York and others in American history.
Perhaps, this is part of the reason we see our culture disintegrating. We have diminished the qualities of true heroes to merely who is popular and we have forgotten what the true nature of a hero is. I would say that nature is most exemplified in the One who gave Himself (the Lord Jesus Christ) willingly on behalf of men to save them from the greatest threat known to man: the just judgment of a holy God against the transgression of His law.
Christ was the foundation of America, as immortalized in the words of the Mayflower Compact, which began, “Having undertaken, for the Glory of God, and advancements of the Christian faith…”
My how far we have fallen from those lofty goals just 400 years ago. As I’ve said before, it’s time to remove your children from the public indoctrination centers and educate them at home.