Introduction

In the early 1890s Ellen White was warning parents away from what were sometimes called "common schools," or what we refer to as public schools. She used both terms.

Public schools were not an option in her mind!

In our day, some parents—too many parents—are opting for public education for their children—more often at the college and graduate level, but sometimes for the lower grades and high school. However, it is dangerous to the spiritual wellbeing of their children in every way, and many parents doing so will lose their children due to the influences found in those settings. I know this is blunt, but I believe it is true.

Rose and I personally worked with other believers in behalf of a young woman who quickly became demon possessed after she entered a public university and innocently became involved in what seemed acceptable activities—sports and leadership of a Christian albeit non-SDA campus group. I am thankful she was restored through prayer and the power of God. However, it was a sobering and not to be forgotten warning experience.

In the following documents, Mrs. White addresses the dangers of public schools.—Dan

 

Shielding Children From Contaminating Influences

This excerpt comes from an article entitled "The School Of The Home."

"I promised that I would speak this morning in regard to the necessity of withdrawing our children from the public schools and of providing suitable places where they can be educated right. I have felt surprised at the apparently indifferent attitude of some, notwithstanding the oft-repeated warnings given the parents must provide for their families not merely with reference to their present interests, but especially with reference to their future, eternal interests.... – {SpM 239.1} 

Notwithstanding this plain instruction, some of God’s people permit their children to attend the public schools, where they mingle with those who are corrupt in morals. In these schools their children can neither study the Bible nor learn its principles. Christian parents, you must make provision for your children to be educated in Bible principles. And do not rest satisfied merely with having them study the Word in the church school. Teach the Scriptures to your children yourselves when you sit down, when you go out, when you come in, and when you walk by the way. Walk with your children much oftener than you do. Talk with them. Set their minds running in a right channel. As you do this, you will find that the light and glory of God will come into your homes. But how can you expect His blessing when you do not teach your children aright?" – {SpM 244.3}—Mrs. E. G. White

 

The Danger Of Public Schools

"Some parents may feel that they cannot afford to pay for the tuition of their children, when an education can be obtained free of charge, in the public schools. But we maintain that even in the matter of dollars and cents, parents will find it their wisest course to place their children under good moral and religious influences. In their association with worldlings, the young are exposed to many temptations. Pride and extravagance in dress are among the prevailing sins of the age. Will not the influence of worldly associates affect the habits, tastes, and desires of your children? Will it not lead them away from simplicity in dress, and make them discontented with that which is useful and substantial? Will not the extra demand upon your purse far exceed the cost of tuition at a school where such influences would be held in check? We have seen this experiment made again and again. In every instance parents have lost instead of saving. {ST May 4, 1882, Art. B, par. 3}

By association with ungodly or vicious companions, the young often contract tastes and habits which prove a lifelong injury. Boys from six to twelve years old may be seen coming from the public schools, smoking their cigarettes. Some who have been taught better things are not proof against such examples." {ST May 4, 1882, Art. B, par. 4}—Mrs. E. G. White

Additional Quotes On The Danger Of Public Schools

You will want to send your child to a church school after reading the quotes.

Some Questions Answered On The Danger Of Public Schools

There are questions that deserve answers in regard to this subject. For example, what if the teacher is a dedicated SDA believer. Does that mean the public school is okay? Asked the very question, Ellen White said "no," in her day, and explained why.