We’ve all done it…taken our thinking or opinion about a topic or person to the extreme, and lumped it or them into one big melting pot and stirred vigorously. In our world today, this is reaching epic proportions, and it’s rather scary.
I have my hackles raised a bit about this because of an article that was shared about a child that was being home-schooled, and that child ultimately died because of abuse suffered at the hands of the child’s parent. The child’s grandmother is very upset about this, and rightly so. But the grandmother is making the case that if the child had been in public school, this abuse would have been seen and reported, rather than hidden behind closed doors because the child was home-schooled. So now the grandmother wants more rules and laws imposed on home-schooling parents so this does not happen again. This is kind of stated in a nutshell to get to the heart of what is bothering me about this.
I have home-schooled our children over the years, and our children have been in public school, as well as enrolled in a day school with some curriculum I have used. We have moved several times during our children’s school years. I have obeyed the rules and laws of each state regarding home-schooling. Some states were more regulated, others not so much.
What bothered me about the article was that the grandmother was making the case about home-schooling, not about the abuse her grandchild had suffered at the hands of the child’s parent. We as people, tend to strike out when we are hurt, misjudged, maligned, angry or grieving. We all do it, but when we cross over and make other people’s lives miserable because of it, that is wrong.
I believe very strongly that parents are responsible for their children. It is their job and duty to raise that child, to protect them, to feed, clothe and house them. It is their responsibility to teach them right from wrong, and to train them to be upstanding citizens. I personally used God’s Word, the Bible as my guide in this, and that is what has formed my view. But I do not push that on other people, and tell them my way was or is the only way. Each person has to decide their way, each parent needs to decide and carry out what is best for their child. God has given us this freedom, and the government should as well.
This freedom should extend to many areas in life in my humble opinion. If you are a parent, it should be your choice where your child attends school, your choice to vaccinate or not, your choice of where to worship, your choice of what doctor to use, your choice of what to feed your child. More laws don’t make better parents.
We have all seen the news reports of the child abuse in the Catholic church. That does not mean every priest is a child molester. We have heard of Fred Phelps and the very tragic things he did while he was alive. But that does not make every conservative, Baptist preacher the same mindset and way of doing things as Fred Phelps. If you home-school your children, you aren’t hiding behind closed doors to physically and mentally abuse your children. Yes, there are priests, pastors, teachers and parents that have abused children…but not all do. Yes, there are pastors that act crazy, but that doesn’t mean all pastors conduct themselves or their lives in the same manner. Some people are vegetarians, but that doesn’t mean all vegetarians walk around with braids in their hair, wearing jeans with daisies on them and Birkenstocks. And yes, I can remember when this was a thought pattern back in the 1970’s! My mother was very much into the health food scene and we shopped weekly with people that looked like that.
My point…don’t lump everyone or one mode of thinking into one big mess. Yes, we can use general observations in most areas. But when our thinking and observations cross over and take away someone else’s freedom and rights, then it’s wrong.
Unfortunately, children are being abused every day. It’s not a poor or rich man’s problem. It’s not about whether you home-school or public school your child. It’s about the abuse taking place. A parent doesn’t have the right to abuse a child. When a parent does this in the form of physical or emotional abuse, which can be manifested in many different ways, that parent has crossed over into the child’s right to have love, protection, food, clothing and shelter. And that is wrong.
Imposing more rules and laws doesn’t make for a more law-abiding citizen. The law-breakers still won’t care, and the law-abiding will just get more and more frustrated. Hard-working people, and common sense thinking seems to be at a premium these days. And that’s where the problem lies.
I grieve for the grandmother and the loss of her grandchild. But it wasn’t about and shouldn’t be made into the issue of why home-schooling is wrong. The focus needs to remain on the abusive parent. If I go to the grocery store and purchase a food item, and then let it set until it’s out of date, and then eat it, and then get sick…that is not the grocery store’s fault. It’s mine for being an idiot. I can’t go and demand that the grocery store never sells that product because I made a bad decision. Well, I can, and then I would be even more of an idiot! And we see this type of stuff everyday. We as a society need to stop making excuses and address the real issues at hand.
Now I will jump off my soap box!