Over the last couple of decades, Democrats have made private schools and homeschooling two of their prime targets. Why wouldn’t they? They are the party of government. If there’s a problem, our tax dollars and elected officials can solve it. It might take a hundred years, it might “get worse before it gets better,” and it might mean half your paycheck goes to the IRS, but they’ll get there. You may not be around to see it, but they’ll get there.
Some parents aren’t willing to wait around for the eventual. They’ve decided they want their kids to actually get an education instead of being forced to learn at the speed of the slowest student in class. They’ve decided they don’t want to turn on the news and see some maniac has killed their kid in an act of random violence. They’ve chosen to shelter their children from the government-decreed standards known as Common Core. And in doing so, they have naturally attracted the ire of the Democrats.
Yes, Please Tell Us What We Can’t Do
One such Democrat – Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper – is facing some heat for his comments last week. Speaking at a luncheon, Hickenlooper said that government “should do what people individually can’t do, or can’t do well themselves — you know, educating our young people, making sure our roads are designed and built properly, making sure our communities are safe.”
The Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) fired back, asking Hickenlooper to revise his comments. They insisted the Democrat owes an “apology to the tens of thousands of parents who save the state millions of dollars and responsibly and competently educate their own children at home.”
To many liberals, the homeschool movement is one based in Christian white America, propagated by families who think there’s some far-reaching conspiracy against their way of life. Nothing could be further from the truth. Parents cite many different reasons for wanting to homeschool their children, and none of them are as nutty as the left would like to think. Customized education, accelerated academics, better family relations, and safety are among the leading reasons.
Let’s talk about that last point for a moment. Whenever there’s a high-profile school shooting, the left starts beating the drums for gun control. But the problem isn’t guns. And the problem isn’t really the handful of sensational stories that capture the headlines. The problem is a growing culture of violence within the public school system.
The Blackboard Jungle
According to data from the U.S. National Center for Education Statistics and the CDC, school violence is a problem that is growing rapidly. In 2007 – the last year for which comprehensive data was made available – nearly 6% of high school students brought weapons to school, 7.8% of students reported being threatened or injured with a weapon, 12.4% had been in a physical fight, and 5.5% reported staying home from school at least once because they did not feel safe.
Do you think things have improved or worsened in the last seven years since those numbers were collected?
Parents have a right and a responsibility to make sure their kids are safe and protected. That umbrella of protection can only go so far, but I think keeping them out of public school is a reasonable step. Not every family can afford it, but those that can should not be impeded by busybodies in government.
Who knows? Maybe by 2114, America will have figured out this whole public school disaster. In the meantime, I can’t blame any parent who wants something better for their children. Until Democrats can offer it, they should keep their mouths shut about homeschooling.