Yesterday, at my son's school... Michael Cobb (former NFL tight end for the Chicago Bears) spoke to the kids. His message was one about making positive choices, because they lead to positive outcomes. He used personal stories about growing up and the violence he faced... telling the kids about when he was a teen and they had been drinking... long story short, his friend was killed by gunfire. He said that he always found peace because of his relationship with Jesus Christ.
FOR CRYIN' OUT LOUD... He talked about guns, alcohol, and religion in a public school. So what happened?
Our principal had to send out a letter to parents regarding the speaker. To quote a direct line, "The topics of guns, alcohol, and religion were not what we had envisioned when arranging for this assembly." This line made me think that maybe people were complaining to the school regarding the guest speaker, and WHY? We hear of gun shot victims all the time here in our small Iowa community. We have to help our children prepare for reality. And unfortunately reality in today's world includes guns, alcohol and HOPEFULLY Jesus Christ.
So, I was prompted to write a letter to the principal:
I am writing to you regarding the assembly the school had yesterday with Mr. Michael Cobb. Thank you first and foremost for having him come and speak at the school. I think that in society today, children experience a harsher world at a much younger age. Guns and alcohol are things they see every day anymore either on TV or maybe at home. How many children see their parents drink every night? I know that my son did for a long time, when we lived with his dad. AND how many kids hear about Jesus Christ spoken proudly, especially in a public forum??
More and more we are hearing about gun violence here in Cedar Rapids. People getting shot, young kids getting killed and as a parent, it is just plain scary. Our children need to know that they can have a positive outlet and they can be a shining light in an ever dimming world.
My son came home yesterday and he was excited. His eyes were sparkling and he couldn't wait to tell me about his assembly. He said Mr. Cobb was so fantastic and he went through a lot of hard things in life and he made it to the NFL. He told me he really never wants to drink alcohol EVER and that when Mr. Cobb asked the group if they would rather have $1 million or Jesus, my son said Jesus. Every time he would say Jesus. Mr. Cobb gave my quirky, amazing, smart 10 year old HOPE that he can do something BIGGER than what he even expected. He told me that he could set his sights higher and reach those goals. Everyone has to work hard.
So, I am sure you are receiving a lot of complaints about the speaker. I can only assume what you have heard, but I wanted to let you know that this parent is proud to have had her son in the presence of someone so real, so honest, and so God fearing as Mr. Cobb. Keep doing a great job.
And for Michael Cobb I have a few words for him as well. Keep being real. Keep telling your story. There will always be naysayers. Your gift has brought my son a bunch of light spots. Thank you!