02 February 2010

Teaching Hate.

"Of course, the homeschoolers will never stop sending puffs of smoking disdain towards the local public school and it’s humble inhabitants. Along with the fruits of the Holy Spirit and all the Jesus parables, the homeschoolers love to preach the inadequacy and the failings of public education. It seems like the main subjects of homeschooling curriculum must include math, English, and public school hate. Whenever the homeschooling mom passes the local elementary school in the middle of the day, it is her God given duty to point out to her children, how those wretched kids behind the fence on the playground are in a prison… a federally funded prison… a federally funded, atheistic prison. A federally funded, atheistic, prison that mommy and daddy are forced to pay for because the evil government makes them!"

You loved this little excerpt, didn't you? You can read the rest of the vitriol here, or I can summarize it for you: some lady somewhere, who has a physician for a husband and can therefore buy her children a spot in the best public schools should she wish, wants those priggish homeschoolers to stop being so stuck-up and send their kids to school with everyone else's.

Those old one-room schoolhouses symbolize the greatness of communities working together, and we need to send our kids to public school to recapture those good old days on a grander scale, she implies. Apparently, this atheist's take on the "love of God" entails sending ALL Christian children to public school regardless of whether this is a good thing for them individually. Because the God we made up calls us to, and we're totally racist, bigoted, snobbish hypocrites if we don't. (In fact, it would be good for the kids to get away from their narrow-minded parents, anyway.) Nevermind that those one-room schoolhouses she's hearkening back to used to teach straight from that pesky Bible she doesn't believe in, or that, in a large majority of cases, children of colour couldn't even GO to these schools. And the kids who were lucky enough to receive an education were physically and mentally abused on a regular basis in these buildings. The good old days. Mmm.

Whatever. But it made for some entertaining reading. I would expect that sort of thing from someone who has never homeschooled, or who doesn't know many homeschoolers. But the homeschoolers who responded to this post seem even more wacky for the most part. Here, they're stating that they are Pagan /atheist /saw a real-live dark person last week /live in a diverse area /whatever/ and they aren't evil like THOSE FUNDIE HOMESCHOOLERS! Please don't lump them in with *those* people!

No. It's the weirdo Christians who teach their daughters to wear skirts and bake cinnamon rolls that we really need to be concerned about. They're the dangerous ones, not me, boss. Because if THEY pulled themselves together, they're the ones who would make the difference in public education. The enlightened people like the commenters are the ones who should be able to homeschool their children, but only because they're concerned about their local public schools and the larger community and/or teach their children the "right" sorts of things.

Um... yeah. You think that if it makes you feel any better. Dug and found a "handi" wiki quote to consider, folks:

"In Germany, [the Nazis] first came for the Communists, and I did not speak up, because I was not a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak up, because I was not a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak up, because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I did not speak up, because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me – and by that time no one was left to speak up."–Martin Niemoller

I'm not implying that sometimes Christian homeschoolers don't have a snotty attitude or that I think secular homeschoolers have to defend everything they do. I'm just thinking that often, the attitude we come across one that's far worse so sometimes... juuuuust sometimes... we like to circle the wagons a little. It's nice to have at least one community in which one is accepted.

And for what it's worth, I was a fundamentalist Christian BEFORE I started homeschooling. In fact, I still send some of my children to the enemy's prison camp. :) Seriously, I appreciate the *good* things the public schools do very much. But I won't be silent about the bad things, or send Elf back to the elementary where they abused him. Must be because I'm a wacko fundie and think kids ought to have HUMAN RIGHTS no matter where they go.

Too bad if you don't like it.

13 comments:

  1. That lady was awful. I read the whole thing and then the comments with my mouth hanging open the whole time. What'd a homeschooler ever do to her, anyway?

    This idea that public school is a "miracle" of nurturing and cooperation and high quality education is just so absurd I don't even know where to begin.

    If she doesn't want to homeschool, fine. Why waste all that enery hating those of us who choose differently? She doesn't even SEE the irony of her hatred of those darned intolerant homeschoolers.

    I went back an read a few of her archives and it's all more of the same. Awful. So much hate from one so enlightened....

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  2. Well, the "public school as community" idea wouldn't bug me so much if she weren't so narrow-minded about who must belong to said community. :)

    I have a non-verbal child that the public school is helping IMMENSELY. It is a very healing process to go through after what we have seen with Elf.

    In the end, though, we really can't put our faith in the institution. Even homeschooling can be an evil in the hands of the wrong person. It would be nice, though, to see this person, who in other ways (though I disagree with her conclusions!) seems to be a bright, inquisitive and truth-seeking sort of soul, come to the realization that most of us are going to make mistakes in this parenting thing.

    Maybe we can extend a little grace to each other. I hope I do that, though admittedly not in this post so much. This just rubbed me all the wrong way... actually the COMMENTS more than the post. I was squinting through it and wondering what these folks thought they would gain by chatting up someone who was already so angry at the moment.

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  3. Wow. What an incredible expression of vitriol. It seems she's made quite the reputation for herself as a blogger by attacking homeschoolers and conservatives.

    Blanket statements about how great public school is and how self-righteous homeschoolers are says more about her than than it does us. Rosy images of classrooms full of happy kids and devoted teachers? Give me a break. Putting what's good for my children ahead of what's good for the community? You bet I am. When it is best for them to go to public school, they go. When it is best to school them at home, we do it that way. Pardon my selfishness, but the fact that little Johnny can't read will not be changed my sacrificing my child's best interest.

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  4. Her hit count must be low. She needed a good, controversial rand to bring in readers.

    Did you see the video on Homeschoolers vs. Homeschooled... from the comment section. Kind of the same logic used in the videos dividing Christians from Christ followers that were circulating a while back.

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  6. Poor, poor woman. So narrow-minded.

    I'm really bugged by her use of the word "miracle" for all the wonders of public school. Miracles are from God, and if her school district (in a small community) is wonderful, that's great. Not everyone lives in an idyllic small town where everyone knows everyone and can keep teachers and adminstrators accountable.

    I have so much bouncing around in my head, that I can't put into words. She just made me mad.

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  7. Mary, I wondered why so many folks seem to be reading... but then I figured many people must be feeling the same way. Doesn't bode well for our country. :(

    Julie, I saw that video a while back! I thought the folks who made it were just trying to show how silly the stereotype was, but my kids really are like the stereotype, so I don't try to combat the stereotypes too terribly much or it would backfire on me LOL.

    Julie, deleted your duplicate comment. :)

    Claire, I'm hardly surprised that someone who doesn't believe in a Deity can throw words like "miracle" around lightly. I will say this, though: You never, never, NEVER hear such talk from people who are truly stuck in inner-city schools. You never hear that there shouldn't be choice or accountability. Never.

    So people like Obama who put their kids into Sidwell Friends and then dis vouchers are not cool with me. People who earn a ton of money and don't believe in charity and tell everyone to go lump it actually bother me LESS b/c they are consistent. Go figure! :)

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  8. Actually, I am equal opportunity in my criticism of the state of education. I don't think private schools are all that either, whether or not they claim to be Christian.

    I do not speak for other homeschoolers, but I chose to homeschool my children because one had special needs that truly required one-on-one instruction and the other had a very active, hands-on kinesthetic learning style and I did not want to depend upon her husband to drug my kid.

    The funny thing is that, when I first started homeschooling, my faith was lukewarm. Through the process of learning about God's world, God has been able to talk some sense into me and help me see his brilliance, power, grandeur, creativity, compassion, joy, etc.

    At the end of this journey, I still homeschool my daughter and have sent my son to public school--at his request--for his last two years of high. God has strengthened my faith in beautiful ways.

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  9. OK treading carefully here...:) I homeschool. I am not a fundamental christian (I don't even know what that means?), though I was born and raised Catholic (but no longer active in that Church). I breastfed my youngest until he was 3.5 but the reason my legs are hairy are because I am so damned tired not because I am a liberal. ;) I don't fit in really anywhere with homeschoolers (or politically for that matter), and I have felt uncomfortable at many homeschool-type things...I think it's the imposed beliefs or assumptions maybe? it is assumed because I homeschool I 1) am uber conservative 2) I am uber liberal 3) I hate the public school system 4) I am antisocial (OK, that part is true!) etc....I have trouble with HSDLA's e-mails sometimes because it goes past homeschooling to me, and sometimes I think things that there needs to be a compromise between maintaining homeschooling freedom and protecting the rest of the kids out there that might not be in a good public school system (or family situation). I went to one homeschool convention where I was there to learn about law. Thought I would learn facts to help me, instead there was a big brewhaha about parents as teachers and how they are evil trying to force the school system into your home. To my family PAT was a Godsend when no one else would walk through some very difficult times with me and my children with disabilities. I don't know what I'm trying to say, but I don't fit, and I appreciate your perspective because you don't seem to fit a one-size-fits all agenda either, and though I may disagree on some of your stands, I respect your opinions and you as a person.

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  10. Tammy, I enjoyed reading about the transition to high school and hope you will keep up the series even though your blog is mostly about Pamela and autism.

    Ange, I truly was honoured by your comment. I was *surprised* by homeschooling. I didn't know there were so many people out there who were just like me, and look at all this curriculum out there exactly as I want it to be. LOL. Here, I had quit PAT on my own - even though I LOVED it - because I saw the political connections to the PTA and the forced schooling that would be on their agenda. Isn't that funny?

    I do think HSLDA defends some pretty abusive parents and gives advice on how to deflect a genuine social services inquiry. You're supposed to say that the allegations (say, of beating a kid with a bat) are not true but not to tell them what is really going on (say, beating a kid with a wooden spoon).

    I guess that's lawyers for ya, no matter what their theological perspective may be. :)

    I would like to see all public education abolished because of the mandates it puts on PRIVATE LIVES. I was at the eye doctor's with my older son last night and here, did you know MO state law mandates an eye exam before KINDERGARTEN as well as in third and fifth grades? Those eye doctors are raking in the bucks, I tell ya.

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  11. You do get some wackos on your side of the pond. Don't you have something you could feed them to? Alligators? Bunyips? The local Jabberwocky? Man, some people are strange. Why do these people even care?

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  12. I think giing the opportunity and knowlege is one thing, mandates are another. I am on the fence about public education, because I don't have a faith in some parents to do the best for the kids. Half the kids in my neighborhood run around for hours after school and I end up being the mom, which I really dislike. But someone has to tell them to stop cussing in fron of my kids, throwing ice balls at cars, etc. *shrug* Some of them are 5 years old! When I start thinking lke this I just want to move to a farm, become a writer, and raise chickens. Instead I continue to fight the good fight. *shrug*

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  13. Ganeida, I think they care because they grow up to vote LOL!!

    Ange, speaking of chickens...

    I think that mandated school has allowed parents to shirk responsibility and has (unintentionally) made for weaker families. It's viewed as "the school's job" to educate the kid, not the parents. And who can blame them when they're at school 8 hours a day?? Dang straight it's the "school's job" and I shouldn't have to do two hours' worth of homework afterward. :)

    And we move further, giving the free lunches to kids. That's the parents' job! We even give food stamps out to people so they can buy food if there isn't enough money! But now we're worried about parents NOT FEEDING THEIR KIDS if that safety net isn't there at school, too??

    We should instead be talking about prosecuting those parents for child abuse instead of handing them yet more money and more excuses not to parent. Sure, I believe that we should help the poor, and food stamps do that. You can afford a peanut butter sandwich and a drink at the water fountain on food stamps. In fact, I know homeschooling families that can live without food stamps, even though they qualify for them.

    They raise chickens! LOL, no... really.

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Non-troll comments always welcome! :)