Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Horse Whipping Is Too Good For Compliant Homeschoolers

Source: The Curmudgeon Newsletter--A Vermont Newsletter With An Attitude!
Reprinted here with permission.

21 November 2001

by Cindy Wade

Compliant homeschooling parents ought to be taken out behind the barn and horse whipped.

After attending a state run Home Study Inquisition yesterday in a state owned building in downtown Rutland I am convinced, now more than ever, that homeschoolers should never EVER enroll their children in the Vermont Home Study program. If they do then they deserve the hassles they get and they are no less guilty of educational abuse as are the public schools and the Department of Education.

It was like the Land of Oz at this inquisition. There was the not-so-partial hearing officer bellowing like the great Oz; the cowardly home study coordinator who has sold her soul for the power of her job; the silver haired, stone faced Department of Education lawyer with no heart; and the 'having a bad hair day' special education teacher and the home study monitor with no brains! The poor homeschooling mom at this meeting simply wanted to go home and be left alone. She was probably wishing she was somewhere else, like Kansas maybe.

The arrogance in the room was so thick you could cut it with a chain saw. Each and every special education scarecrow--excuse me, teacher--was so proud of their schooling degrees and it didn't seem to bother them they know nothing about homeschooling. Not a one of them ever read books by or heard of Linda Dobson, or John Taylor Gatto, or John Stormer, or Charles J. Sykes. Only two of them were familiar with the name of John Holt.

Some pretty amazing things were said by these state paid tyrants and it was actually quite sad to see them all groveling for their pay checks. The most outstanding thing about this inquisition was the 'conclusion' that a couple of these scarecrows came to about the Course of Study that was submitted by Patricia, the homeschooling mom, with her re-enrollment notice. They claimed Patricia's 'standards' and 'expectations' for her children were too high. Too high?! I'm still scratching my head over that one.

One scarecrow in particular really stands out when it comes to no-brainers and this one is a top-dog at the Department of Education's Home Study Unit. Hang onto your ruby slippers for this one, folks! This scarecrow insists that 'learning impaired' is the equivalent to 'mentally retarded' and swore under oath to that. If that's not a wake-up call to you homeschooling parents out there, get this: she can conclude for you that your child is mentally retarded even though she has never met them! You ask yourself is she telepathic? No. Psychopathic? Maybe, but she swears she can come to these conclusions all on her own by simply reading your child's IEP's, assessment reports and psychological reports alone. Ask this same brain-dead scarecrow if a 'learning impaired' child can ever get a college degree she will tell you unequivocally 'never'! Even if they hung out in college for 20 years and completed all the course work. Sorry, no degree--you're retarded because she says so!

Now didn't some public school teacher tell Nancy Edison that her 8 year old son, Tommy, was learning impaired/retarded and was unteachable? Well, Nancy wasn't going to settle for that teacher's diagnosis of her son, especially since she knew her son better than that teacher did. So Nancy took little Tommy home, built a classroom in the cellar of her house and homeschooled him for the next ten years or so. As I recall I think little Tommy eventually grew up and invented some sort of gadget called a light-bulb. And wasn't a learning impaired and unruly little girl called Helen thought to be unteachable? Heck, she couldn't even see or hear anything. No thanks to public schools little Miss Keller grew up, went on to college and was smarter than most 'normal' college grads today with their masters degrees and PhD's.

How many of you homeschoolers out there who pulled your children out of public school saw a change for the better even within the first month or two? Still hanging onto those slippers? These characters in this Land of Oz haven't seen hide nor hair of Patricia's children for over one and a half years! The heartless Department of Education lawyer, the cowardly Home Study consultant and the brainless wonder Home Study special education monitor have NEVER even met Patricia's children.

Do you homeschooling parents out there honestly want people like this, who hide out in their ivory towers, to sit in judgment and control of your child's life? If you think you're doing yourself and your child a favor by enrolling them in the Department of Education Home Study program, think again. Go ahead and pat yourself on the back for doing so if it makes you feel special and obedient. Then reach around and slap yourself across the face and wake up to the fact that you're in cahoots with these characters. They've decided 'they know what's best' for YOUR children.

One such Masters-degree-toting special education teacher sat right at that table yesterday and proceeded to declare she 'knew what was best for Patricia's children' and that Patricia 'didn't know what was best' for her own children. At that point, while I was picking my jaw up off the table, I kind of half expected this woman's toes to start curling up until she completely disappeared. I even wondered if I threw water on this woman would she melt?

If any of you parents and tax payers out there think for one moment that the public schools and the Department of Education are all about education and the welfare of children, think again. They are all about money and control. They are all about people who, for one reason or another, 'thought' they were going into education and may have sincerely had hearts or brains or courage at some point in their naive young lives. They never left schooling. They spent their entire youths attending grade schools, junior high schools, and high schools. They led 'school centered' lives. The only life they knew and were comfortable with.

From high school they went right into the classrooms of their colleges and universities. Again, familiar and comfortable surroundings. From there, toting their degrees and educational theory baggage with them, they stepped back into the classrooms of the elementary, junior and high schools. They've never left the system. They've never lived any other life. They know little of the real world or alternatives to learning.

Locked into their world of 'schooling' they now have bills to pay, families to support and reputations to defend. They've learned to grovel and hoodwink for their paychecks. They've learned to manipulate parents and taxpayers in order to keep their livelihood and advance their agendas. They've banded together into unions to over-power parents, taxpayers and legislators. They've ignored studies, reports and proof that what they do has 'dumbed down' generations of Americans. They get defensive when you question their abilities so they turn around and label themselves 'professional'. In other words, they've sold their souls for a few silver coins.

As I left this inquisition at the end of the day I was feeling only one emotion. I was sad. I was feeling sadness for the great, all powerful Oz himself, bellowing and huffing, knowing full well he honestly believed he had a job to do or he might not be able to pay the mortgage company, or the grocers, or the utility bills. Had he promised his loving wife a future holiday together? How was he going to pay for all of this? Why, with the paycheck he'll receive from the state taxpayers, of course.

I was sad for the silver haired, heartless, cold-as-metal DOE lawyer whose livelihood also depends on the success of her efforts to maintain control over the lives of four more innocent children.

I was sad for the cowardly Home Study consultant who has completely set aside her mother's intuition and instincts in exchange for the power and recognition of her newfound job. After years of homeschooling her own children without someone like her looking over her shoulders she has sold out to her colleagues to be more than just a mom--like that job was never going to be the most important one she ever had.

I was sad for the younger munchkin special education teacher who sat quivering beside her bewildered lawyer. This timid creature gave testimony against Patricia's children after having them in her classroom for only eleven days. I knew this young, naive, wet-behind-the-ears woman was well on her way to becoming like the others there in the room. With a toddler of her own at home though, maybe there is hope she won't make the same mistakes. Then again, maybe she'll use all her educational training and theory baggage to experiment on her own child, too.

I was sad for the two brainless and almost comical special education teachers because they were simply angry, disillusioned and pathetic. I've known bag ladies with more dignity and honor that these two. If they had had a banner around their chests that read: 'Look at me, I have all these degrees and I've done my time. I've put up with all these kids for all these years. Where is my recognition and pat on the back for sticking it out?', it couldn't have been more obvious how miserable these two are.

So, if you ever find yourself sitting at one of these Home Study Inquisitions as the defendant and the burden of proof is on you, you probably deserve to be there for the simple reason that you enrolled your child in the Vermont Home Study program. My instincts tell me Patricia is done with the enrollment process. She made it plenty clear to them that no matter what they decide she has no intentions of giving up homeschooling her children because she can do a far better job than they did. And, if Vermont parents are willing to give over their parental duties and their Constitutional and God-given rights to the Department of Education's Land of Oz, maybe a horse whipping is too good for you. Maybe you should be forced to live in that Land of Oz with these people for awhile. At least that way the scars won't show.

(Cindy Wade homeschools her two children and does not enroll them with the state's home study program.)

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