Here’s a good one (“good” in the sense of fucking evil bastardy):
Madison Bratcher, the mother of a girl who was enrolled in the Bridgeport Independent School District (BISD), received an odd reaction from her daughter’s school after withdrawing her.
“Her daughter was bullied, exposed to inappropriate sexual talk by other students, and mistreated in classes and on the bus. Bratcher said she raised these issues with her daughter’s school, but they were not addressed,” according to a report from The Texan.
“All of these incidents show that Bridgeport doesn’t have the best interest of students at heart,” Bratcher told the news outlet.
Bratcher and her husband made the decision to homeschool McKinley, their daughter, who is in the sixth grade. They sent an email to the school notifying them that they were removing her from the school.
Which, according to Texas state law, is all you need to do if you want to homeschool your kid. The response from the school?
The parents did not receive a reply to their email. Later, Bratcher received a phone call from the school informing her that registration was now open. She told the individual that she would not be enrolling her daughter and would be homeschooling her instead. School officials called twice more even after being told that Bratcher was educating her daughter at home.
On the third phone call, an official told her that she needed to fill out some forms indicating her intent to withdraw her daughter. This person also asked probing questions about what program Bratcher would be using to educate McKinley. “At this point, Bratcher said she became very uncomfortable and asked the school to send her the forms via email.”
And as for the content of the “forms”:
The forms required her to acknowledge “dangers, concerns, and disadvantages” of homeschooling. One of the forms also said the district could investigate a family if it has “reasonable cause … to believe that the assurance” given that the child would pursue a bona fide program of homeschooling is not true.
All of which is total bullshit, of course — the “investigation” procedure does not exist, is not backed by any Texas law or regulation, and is pure intimidation.
This all happened at the school level, apparently, because when Our Intrepid Mom got hold of the school district brass, she got a groveling apology, and an assurance that the “forms” were not authorized by the district. (One hopes that this would result in someone getting fired for cause, but I wouldn’t put money on it.)
Why would the school stoop to this level? Ah… follow the money. Each student pulled from a state school means reduced state funding.
Texas residents, take note. Other states’ residents: find out the steps required by the state before you pull your kid.
It IS the most fundemental issue facing us right now:
The American Left (aided and abetted by some conservatives) believes that the government, not parents, should determine the content of a child’s mind—their ideas, their principles, and their values. A few weeks after McAuliffe’s tone-deaf faux pas, two authors writing in The Washington Post summed up the Left’s position in the title of their op-ed: “Parents claim they have the right to shape their kids’ school curriculum. They don’t.” Parents should have neither the right nor the authority, according to the Post’s writers, to determine the ideas taught to their children. This task should be left to the “experts”—to the experts of the Education Establishment. The authors go on to claim that “education should prepare young people to think for themselves, even if that runs counter to the wishes of their parents.”
“When it comes to society’s interest in protecting children, the legal precedent is unambiguous: The rights of parents come second.” But the question is, if parents’ rights come second when it comes to protecting or educating their children, then whose rights come first? And the authors’ answer is obvious: society’s rights, the government’s rights, the rights of the public-policy experts trump those of parents.
I need to quit now, because bullshit like this makes one of my fingers twitch really badly. Let’s call it this one, just for the official record:
(but I could be lying)
And that’s even after having completed my own kids’ homeschooling many years ago. But despite that, this is a hill I’d be prepared to die on, if called to do so.
Quick reminder to the “experts” and the State-sponsored thugs they use for “enforcement” : if you want to see a serious piece of social upheaval, start fucking with people’s kids. Virginia parents’ reaction to the CRT curricula isn’t even an appetizer.
Our kids are ours. They are not the possession of the State. But go ahead and poke that nest of rattlesnakes with your short little sticks…
From Stephen Green at Insty:
And as the number of students at public schools drops, so does the schools’ funding. Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of Commies.
One of the benefits of homeschooling is that parents can tailor the curriculum and teaching methods towards the individual child’s needs. In our case, we improved Son&Heir’s reading level, for instance, by imposing a strict three-hours-per-day reading regimen — topic or authors of his own choice, of course — and inside two years he went from a three-grades-below-average level to twelfth grade level, at age 15. (His favorite authors were Daphne du Maurier and E.L. Salvatore, and by age 17 he’d read their entire works respectively — an enormous feat in the case of Salvatore, whose works are prodigious).
For #2 Son, who was high-functioning autistic, we improved his reading ability by letting him watch any TV show he wanted, as long as sub-titles were turned on. This was prompted by the fact that being autistic, he dreaded loud noises — he’d clap his hands over his ears and become near-catatonic — which meant that he would have to turn the TV sound way down to avoid being startled by dramatic increases in the soundtrack volume, but which resulted in him not being able to follow the dialogue and plot. The sub-titles enabled him to follow the story, and it improved his reading level by a similar degree to Son&Heir’s. (At age 17, he was yelling at the TV adaptation of The Count of Monte Cristo for being a travesty of the original plot; I wasn’t even aware that he’d read the thing, but he had.)
So when I saw this, I nodded with approval:
…simply because I’d proven it to be true in my own experience as a homeschooler.
If you decide to do this, though, be aware that while comprehension and reading skills will improve, you have to work really hard on correct pronunciation, if like in #2 Son’s case you also turn down the TV volume (the spoken word teaches that, of course, so you have to be patient, thorough and non-judgmental in your constant correction). I and the other family members still have to work on this when we talk to him, even though he’s now in his 30s. (For those who’ve known him, you may suddenly feel very old; sorry.)
But to improve reading skills at pretty much any age, closed captions can be your friend.