FUQUAY-VARINA, N.C. — A Wake County teacher has apologized after writing a commentary that compared the high school where he works to a concentration camp and suggesting the school turned a formerly homeschooled student into a lesbian.
Fuquay-Varina High School biology teacher Ray Fournier wrote the piece for the Christian magazine “No Greater Joy.”
“As I step out of my car and begin my long walk across the parking lot I can already feel the oppression in the air,” Fournier’s piece begins. “With each step I take the darkness increases and I know deep in my soul that I am now behind enemy lines. Walking through the gates of the public high-school where I teach feels as if I were walking into a concentration camp dedicated to the spiritual death of those imprisoned behind these walls.”
In another section, Fournier laments that a “sex-crazed American culture has defiled the minds and bodies of our sons and daughters” and that as many as “23 out of 30 believe that homosexuality is acceptable.” Fournier goes on to say that his “heart breaks over the moral decline of our youth,” and then shares the story of a homeschooling family who decided to send two of their high-school aged daughters to his public school — again drawing parallels to concentration camps and a “gas chamber.”
“As soon as I found out about their decision, I warned them about the spiritual dangers of public education, but sadly they ignored my warning,” Fournier wrote. “It was as if their daughters where placed inside a spiritual gas chamber. It didn’t take long for the poison to take effect. Within a year’s time one of them even became a lesbian. My heart broke each and every time I saw her walk around campus with her girlfriend. I can only imagine how utterly devastated her family must feel.”
Fournier has since apologized and asked “No Greater Joy” to remove the commentary from its website.
“Some people might not understand the seriousness of the spiritual destruction of our children and as a result, might come to the conclusion that I am being disrespectful to those families who directly suffered in the holocaust,” Fournier wrote in his apology.
Fournier’s commentary was also published in its entirety in an annual homeschooling magazine and it still remains online. (qnotes has saved the PDF version of the commentary, which you can read here.)
Some parents aren’t pleased with the commentary or Fournier’s apology and there have been calls for the teacher to be disciplined or fired, reports The News & Observer.
“I hope that he loses his job, unfortunately,” Krista Bennett, a parent of a student at Fuquay-Varina High, told the Raleigh newspaper. “I hope that they let him go, and he can go find a job at a fundamentalist Christian college or school.”
The News & Observer reports that Fournier is “a self-described ‘local evangelist and public school missionary’ who has taught at the school since 2000.”
A spokesperson for Wake County schools told the Raleigh newspaper they were investigating the incident.
Fournier’s article was brought to public attention by a student, Lauren Foster. She shared it with her followers on Twitter.
“Anyone who talks so poorly of my school, compares it to a concentration camp, blames the public school system for ‘turning people lesbian’ and (says public education) makes teenagers lose their morals is outright ridiculous,” Foster said.
One student is defending Fournier, though. Mark Youmans graduated from Fuquay-Varina High last year. He now attends Liberty University. He didn’t like the Holocaust comparisons but told The News & Observer the article was “spot-on.”
“There was a lot of adversity I faced, being a Christian,” Youmans told the paper.
The commentary was part promotion for Fournier’s book, “Education Reform: A Teacher’s Call For Christian Parents To Abandon The Public Schools And Return To The Word Of God.”
Fournier’s apology appeared on the page where “No Greater Joy” had published his commentary. The apology was accompanied by an excerpt from his book. Read the apology in its entirety below:
I would like to apologize to you for the inflammatory way in which I presented my argument against public education in the article, “From Behind Enemy Lines.”
In retrospect, it was not wise for me to use the analogy of concentration camps and the holocaust to illustrate the loss of millions of children from Christian homes to the world (Secular Humanism) as a result of the media, the public school curriculum, and the student culture.
It is a fine line to walk for a man trying to speak the truth in a way that would awaken Christian parents without having the method of communication over-shadow the message. Concentration camps and the holocaust are real horrific events of history. Some people might not understand the seriousness of the spiritual destruction of our children and as a result, might come to the conclusion that I am being disrespectful to those families who directly suffered in the holocaust. I certainly did not want to offend anyone with my analogy; and for that I would like to offer my deepest apologies and ask forgiveness from those whom I have offended. I would also like to ask No Greater Joy Ministries as well as anyone else who has re-posted my article to remove my article from their website and replace it with this apology.
As a result of my study of God’s Word and the testimony of my experience, I still believe and stand by my convictions regarding having Christian parents rescue their children from the public schools.
The following is what I believe God says regarding the education of our children. Prayerfully examine it in light of the scriptures and let the Holy Spirit and His Word lead you to the right decision regarding your children.
May God bless you and your families!
The following is a summary of what God says regarding the education of our children from my book, Education Reformation (www.EducatonReformation.org)
C H A P T E R F O U R:
The Education Reformation Manifesto
We believe that providing a Biblical education for our children is a direct application of the Great Commission and we are motivated by the gospel to provide it for the glory of God.
“And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’” (Matthew 28: 18 – 20)
The Great Commission not only includes the preaching of the gospel and baptizing new believers, it also includes making mature disciples by teaching them to observe all that Jesus has commanded. This is the goal of a truly Biblical education.
We believe that the Great Commission begins in our households, expands to our friends and family, our local community, and then to the rest of the world (Acts 1: 8). A Parents’ primary responsibility regarding the Great Commission is the evangelism and discipleship of their children.
We believe that one of the reasons God created us in Christ was to accomplish good works for His Glory (Ephesians 2: 10). The evangelism and discipleship of our children, which is at the core of a Biblical education, is one of the most important good works that God has commanded us to accomplish.
We believe that God has given us His infallible, authoritative, and sufficient Word to fully equip us for every good work, including how to educate our children.
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3: 16 – 17)
Since God has given us everything that we need to be fully equipped for every good work and the education of our children is one of these good works, we can be certain that God has provided us with specific instructions on how to educate our children. The following are some of the Biblical commands and principles given to us by God that directly apply to the education of our children:
We believe education belongs to the family supported by the church, not to the state.
Fathers are the ones that are commanded to train and educate their children. (Ephesians 6: 4, Psalm 78:5-8, and Deuteronomy 6: 1 – 7)
“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6: 4)
God Himself has given fathers not mothers, not schools, not churches and certainly not the state, but fathers this responsibility. As a result, fathers are the ones who will be ultimately held accountable by God for what their children are taught.
God has given mothers the role of being the fathers’ primary helpers in accomplishing the goal of a Biblical education (Genesis 2: 18 – 24, Proverbs 1:8, Proverbs 6:20, Song of Solomon 8:2). But if fathers are disobedient to God, dead, or otherwise absent, it falls to mothers to accomplish this good work (Acts 16: 1, 2 Timothy 1: 5).
God never intended for Christian families to function in isolation. Families separated from the local church are like sheep separated from the flock; easy prey for the predators of this world. The protection, training, fellowship, accountability, and encouragement that are provided by the body of Christ are essential for our children’s education.
We believe that we are not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers in the education of our children.
“Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols?” (2 Corinthians 6: 14 – 16a)
As a result, willingly becoming partners with unbelievers in our God given responsibility to train and educate our children is a violation of this clear Biblical principle.
We believe teachers must have a godly character because a student will become like his teacher.
“He (Jesus) also told them a parable: ‘Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher.’” (Luke 6: 39 – 40) (Explanation added)
We believe bad company really does corrupt good character.
“Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” (Proverbs 13: 20)
“Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company ruins good morals.’” (1 Corinthians 15: 33)
As a result, carefully selecting the student culture that our children will be influenced by is of utmost importance.
We believe that a Biblical education involves strong, character building, personal relationships between a student and his teachers. Since God has ordained parents as a child’s primary teachers, strong parent-child relationships based on living life together and daily discipleship are essential.
“You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” (Deuteronomy 6: 5 – 7)
We believe that the content of a Biblical education must be Gospel centered (Romans 1: 16) and saturated with the fear of the LORD (Proverbs 1: 7, Proverbs 9: 10), focused on the centrality of the Word of God (2 Timothy 3: 14 – 17), impart a purely Biblical worldview (1Timothy 6: 20, 1 Corinthians 3: 18 – 20, Romans 12: 2) , and instruct students in apologetics (1 Peter 3: 15, 2 Corinthians 10: 3 – 6), evangelism (Ephesians 4: 11 – 16), Biblical family roles (Ephesians 5: 23 – 6: 4), prayer (1 Thessalonians 5: 16 – 18), Bible study (Matthew 4: 4), scripture memorization (Psalm 119: 9 – 12), Christian service (1 Peter 4: 9 – 11), involvement in a local church (Hebrews 10: 24 – 25), and career training (1Timothy 5: 8, 2 Thessalonians 3: 10).