WHEREAS, it appears to us that contemporary culture has become marked by violence, and such has been exhibited particularly against the most vulnerable in our societies; and
WHEREAS, we observe in the United States that a culture of violence appears to have emerged among our school aged children and among our college students demonstrated in the escalation of reported incidents of bullying and assault and in the most extreme cases, the occurrence of horrific tragic events where multiple lives of our students have been lost as a result of violence; and
WHEREAS, violence in our schools at any level disrupts the educational environment, whether it occurs on campus, during transit to or from school, during school-sponsored events at any school level or in communications through social media; and
WHEREAS, students who are the objects of any form of violence in their schools may experience trauma, fear and anxiety that can significantly impact their lives; and
WHEREAS, we observe that many students and teachers have exemplified courage in the appropriate witness of their faith and walk in Christ at the risk of experiencing violence in their schools; and
WHEREAS, Holy Scripture teaches us that our children and youth are a blessing from the Lord (Psalm 127:3) and directs us to provide for their training and development (Deuteronomy 6:6-7; Proverbs 22:6; Ephesians 6:4);
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Church of God extend prayer and compassion to all those students and families that have been touched by school violence and for our schools with the goal of peace and civility; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we encourage our ministers and laity to engage school and civic leadership to address school violence, to provide safe educational environments, and to encourage a culture of those long-held traits of good citizenship: love, respect and accountability; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we commit our efforts to teach our students the traits of love, respect and accountability as part of the proper behavior of Christian believers; and that we give diligent effort to support families and parents in our ministries where these traits can be reinforced; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that we commend those students and teachers who have faithfully demonstrated their Christian faith and values in their daily lives in the face of school violence and commit our prayers for divine protection and strengthening for them.
For over 125 years the Church of God has been a distinctive movement focused upon communicating the gospel in the power of the Holy Spirit. Presently, the Church of God has a world-wide membership of over 7 million with a presence in nearly 180 countries.