Mar 142009
 

I’m not entirely sure what to make of this, nor do I know whether it’s any sort of legitimate news article. But let’s assume for the moment that it is:

A North Carolina judge has ordered three children to attend public schools this fall because the homeschooling their mother has provided over the last four years needs to be “challenged.” The children, however, have tested above their grade levels – by as much as two years. The decision is raising eyebrows among homeschooling families, and one friend of the mother has launched a website to publicize the issue. The ruling was made by Judge Ned Mangum of Wake County, who was handling a divorce proceeding for Thomas and Venessa Mills.

Mangum said he made the determination on his guiding principle, “What’s in the best interest of the minor children,” and conceded it was putting his judgment in place of the mother’s.

On her website, family friend Robyn Williams said Mangum stated his decision was not ideologically or religiously motivated but that ordering the children into public schools would “challenge the ideas you’ve taught them.”

According to Williams’ website, the judge also ordered a mental health evaluation for the mother – but not the father – as part of the divorce proceedings, in what Williams described as an attack on the “mother’s conservative Christian beliefs.”

Here’s how I read this tale: mother takes children out of state education because state school is crap. Mother and father get divorced. Father wants children put back into state education. Judge handling divorce proceedings orders children to be put back into state education because ideas learned from mother (amongst them possibly conservative Christianity) need to be ‘challenged’.

This bothers me on multiple levels. On the one hand, I see the dangers inherent in filling children with dogma they’re discouraged from questioning. On the other hand, I see the dangers inherent in filling children with dogma they’re discouraged from questioning. The only difference between homeschooling and state schooling appears to be which dogma the poor creatures are forced to consume.

Not to mention that I thought North Carolina, a place very dear to my heart, was above this sort of stuff. Its judges, among whom I number one of my own family members, are not generally given to illiberal, heavy-handed pronouncements about how parents can and cannot educate their offspring. And this decision is a bit rich coming from this particular judge, whose daughter I used to teach – in a religious private school.

As the Devil would say, fucking hellski…

  2 Responses to “Homeschooling or state schooling?”

  1. “On the one hand, I see the dangers inherent in filling children with dogma they’re discouraged from questioning. On the other hand, I see the dangers inherent in filling children with dogma they’re discouraged from questioning.”

    Bloody right, too!

    The only thing that bothers me about home schooling is the reduced opportunity for socialization; but that must be countered with the reduced exposure to all sorts of vile peer-pressure and corruption. A neighbour has home-schooled her two and they’re super kids, well balanced and educated, much nicer than the little monsters on the school bus.

    BTW you should see if you can find an email address for this fuckwitted hypocrite and send him the link.

  2. Haha, “on the one hand … on the other hand”. Yep.

    Dennis is wrong about socialization. I was home educated, and the parents form networks and organize meetings and holidays and visits so that their kids can hang out with the other kids. One of my good home-ed friends is from a huge family under a fundamentalist Christian patriarch, but is an atheist, I suspect as a result of growing up around another one of my home-ed friends, whose dad is a socialist anarchist.

    “What about the socialization” is what everybody always says, and it preys on the minds of home-ed parents. I might have been happier with a bit less of it sometimes. Oh, but I enjoyed the peer-pressure and corruption.

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