A Utah man gave a public prayer about ‘evil’ in schools. The state superintendent calls it ‘a dagger to my heart’
Superintendent Sydnee Dickson says Utah public schools ‘are places of joy, care, goodness and learning’
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Sydnee Dickson pushed back against remarks in a public prayer offered during a recent meeting of the Orem City Council that said “evil things” are being taught in schools.
Allen Young, father of Orem Mayor David Young, offered the invocation at the Orem City Council meeting on Sept. 27, at the invitation of his son.
Allen Young’s prayer expressed gratitude for the nation and freedom, and then turned to schools.
“There’s so many problems today in the school system. It wasn’t that way when our children were in school. They didn’t have to fight the evil things that are being said and done and taught in the school system,” said Young, 93.
Dickson, as part of her October report to the Utah State Board of Education, said the remarks were “a dagger to my heart.”
Dickson, state superintendent since 2016, visits district and charter schools statewide each fall to see for herself what is happening in Utah schools.
“I was so dismayed recently when I heard a public prayer that our schools are full of evil. It was just was a dagger to my heart because I witness the opposite every day. Our schools are places of joy, and care, and goodness, and learning,” she said.
Allen Young also prayed for the passage of Proposition 2 in November, which would allow Orem to break away from the Alpine School District and form its own district.
“Here is an opportunity, we pray, to be able to change at least one portion of the state’s school system, to be able to render some of the evil influences that are going on in some of the schools. I’ve heard so much about the many evil things, not necessarily from family, but from teachers and others,” he said.
The proposition asks: “Shall a new Orem school district be created with boundaries contiguous with (the same as) the boundaries of the City of Orem?”
Allen Young’s prayer urged Orem residents to “really put some thought and prayer into studying the issues, that they make the right decisions at the right time on Nov. 8,” which is Election Day.
It was Mayor David Young’s turn to select who would offer the invocation and Pledge of Allegiance. He selected his father and his sister.
The mayor supports creating an Orem-only school district.
Alpine Education Association’s board of directors voted unanimously to oppose creation of an Orem City School District, calling it “detrimental to students and educators. The Orem split feasibility study cannot guarantee students and educators will have all of the courses, resources and services currently provided by Alpine School District,” its website states.