Thursday, July 31, 2003

When faced with Anger

Note Anger with a capital "A".

Every once in a while I'll read a post on a blog that's so packed with anger and venom that I know better than to respond because nothing I say will penetrate the red haze. Any argument I make will be torn to shreds and discredited simply because it's not spouting the party line. I grew up in a similar environment - with my Dad - and I learned to choose my battles. When he was in a relaxed mood, we could argue religion, politics, culture, or family relations in a constructive, informative manner. When he was in one of his ranting modes, duck and cover was the only safe response. Unless you felt like being verbally crushed into the ground...

Education is one of my passions. I believe - however naively - that I can make a difference in the public school system. Maybe not for every student, but for enough of them. How many is enough? One. Just one. Well, maybe one a year. I'm not greedy, see.

Homeschooling is not for everyone. Some parents don't have the education themselves to assist their children. Utah has one of the highest percentages of homeschooled children in the US. Why? Because there is still a large, if quiet, population of traditionalist (polygynist) Mormon families in this state. Homeschooling allows them to keep their children isolated from mainstream culture. Is that a good thing? Well, I suppose it depends which side of the Temple you're standing on.

Public education is not to blame for all the ills of our country. Public schools, at least in Utah, are not brainwashing children to be Liberal parrots. (Quite the opposite, in fact). Not all teachers are stupid, illiterate bumpkins who can't find another job.

How are the parents who don't support their children's education in the school system supposed to homeschool these same children? Half the problems with the schools today result from the lack of parental and community support. If you expect something to fail, it usually won't disappoint you.

So maybe I'll just young and foolish and don't know what I am talking about. And maybe I would think differently if I had children of my own. And maybe not.

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