Not Everyone Agrees With Choice


Writing from Miami, Florida

Recently I wrote about the case of a young girl who is homeschooled, one who gives me hope in the future of youth. (See A Declaration of Independence from Public Schools.)

There are people, however, who would deny talented and dedicated young people like Mary the opportunity to be educated in the way their parents wish. In a blog post titled It’s not homeschooling — it’s truancy we find someone who would, if I understand the author, deny everyone this opportunity.

The article is full of stereotypes and generalities: “If you’ve even been to a GOP rally in the middle of the day, you’ve seen them.” “Everybody in the real world knows homeschool kids are socially inept …” “… so many homeschool moms who would still be working at the Sonic if they hadn’t gotten knocked up and found Jesus.” This type of bigotry is common among those who would deny parents the choice to educate their children as they see fit.

There is also an issue of liberty to consider. It is one thing for the government to require children to attend school; it is a very different matter for the government to prescribe which school a child must attend, or the manner in which they must be educated. Even if the children didn’t receive quite the same education as they would in the public schools, it’s what the parents want for their children. But I don’t think issues of liberty are what this writer is concerned with.

The final paragraph of the article gives us insight into the mindset of the anti-school choice crowd. It illustrates the paternalistic desire for control exhibited by those who believe they know what’s best for others. It exhibits more faith in the public schools than they have shown they deserve. Finally, having derided homeschooling families for being religious, the writer offers a prayer for them:

And every time I’m at a rally I want to pull the homeschooled kids aside and tell them that I’m sorry their parents are so scared of the world, of the public schools, of their kids thinking for themselves. I want to tell them that the real world is more than what they get from CBN and the magazines their over-protective parents allow in the house. But instead I just say a little prayer that maybe their parents will realize what a disservice their [sic] doing to their kids, and vow I will never do the same for mine.

It may be that attitudes like these — not to mention errors in usage — are what parents wish to avoid.


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