Today, I am sharing a story from guideposts.org. It is a story about a woman following her conscience. So many times, it can be difficult to do the right thing. However, abuse is perpetuated and our safety, freedoms, and connection to God are compromised when we choose to ignore the voice of our conscience. Our conscience is the angel within. When we listen to that still, small voice – we will receive inspiration and guidance from God. If we want God to be a part of this world, we must allow our conscience to direct our choices and actions. Whether it is an individual, country or the world; when conscience prevails, God’s influence reigns. When God’s influence dominates the world in which we live, human rights are protected and truth rather than ego and greed becomes the overriding standard that guides conduct . Here is today’s story:
Reporter Michael Winerip details how Georgia state investigators were able to zero in on the Atlanta school administrators responsible for a widespread cheating scandal that falsely raised test scores in order to line their own pockets with lucrative performance bonuses.
The lead investigator, Richard Hyde, had a serious obstacle in his way. Finding a cooperative witness was key to the government’s case. Without testimony from one of the teachers assigned to alter students’ tests, the administrators who led the deception might escape prosecution. But the teachers all had their own reasons to stay silent.
One teacher, Jackie Parks, a single mother who taught third grade at Venetian Hills Elementary School for 17 years, had gone along with changing the tests because she could not afford to lose her job. If she became a whistle blower, she’d be fired and might not be able to feed her family. A difficult risk to take.
But one night in August, just before the beginning of a new school year, she had a dream.
“I saw people walking down the hall with yellow notepads,” Jackie told the Times. Not teachers or students. People who wanted answers. “From time to time, God reveals things to me in dreams.”
A few weeks later, out of a hundred Atlanta schools under investigation, Richard Hyde showed up at hers.
“I think God led Mr. Hyde to Venetian Hills,” Jackie told the Times.
At first, Jackie was afraid to speak to him. But he returned, day after day, and Jackie found it impossible to stay silent anymore. “I wanted to repent,” she said. “I wanted to clear my conscience.”
Jackie wore a wire to meetings that captured key players discussing the case. Several months later, the state investigators released an 800-page report, implicating 178 teachers and principals in the scandal and bringing down the alleged ringleader, Beverly J. Hall, the district superintendent.