Jesus took children in his arms, laid his hands on them and blessed them. However, before he could, he had to chastise his disciples for trying to prevent it. Why do you think the disciples tried to limit the children’s access to Jesus? What might their underlying attitude be toward children? How do you think the children (and parents) would have felt if Jesus rejected them?
Today, we have seen a growing number of adults “laying their hands” on children—not to bless them but to punish them. Due to zero tolerance policies, children are being suspended and expelled from school at growing rates. Expulsion is even becoming common in preschools. What message do you think expulsion gives to young children?
Many groups have begun to call suspension and expulsion the first step in the “school to prison pipeline.” Children who are expelled are much more likely to repeat the behavior and end up incarcerated in juvenile detention facilities and later in adult prisons as they grow up understanding themselves as “bad”. What, if anything, might Jesus have to say to us about our treatment of children. Link HERE to learn more about the “school to prison pipeline” and pray that teachers and administrators will move to divert children away from the pipeline.