Even I was shocked when I realized that over the past few weeks, the city of New York reported 5 incidences of inappropriate sexual behavior between teachers and students. See some of the stories from the New York Daily News here, here and from the New York Post here. (By the way,could stories like these help to explain why public school teachers are loathe to teach about abstinence? Hmmmm, I wonder...) But it got even worse. The mayor of New York, Mayor Bloomberg, admitted that such occurrences happen regularly only the press does not always find out about it. But wait, the stories get even worse. Once the offending teacher is exposed, he or she typically gets a slap on the hand and is sent right back into the classroom. Think it can not get any worse than that? Guess again. The teacher's unions refuse to add any teeth to the disciplinary action to punish sexual offender teachers because of the chance that a student might just make up a story to hurt a teacher. They do not want any teachers being wrongfully disciplined.
Okay, can we all see what happens here? First we start with students not being safe in their own school, at the institution they come to for learning. This is in direct contrast to opponents of homeschooling who point to the relative safety of schools in which students are free from the horrible abuses that can occur at home.
In fact, CBS News, The Akron Beacon Journal and others have run "investigative reports" that have suggested the opposite. Homeschooling, we were warned, merely serves as a haven for those who would misuse or abuse their children. If children were sent to school, the school proponents argue, any abuse could be quickly discovered and indeed, parents may not be abusive at all because they would be aware that they could be "found out".
The statistics just make you feel all warm and fuzzy thinking about sending your child into the safe confines of public school right? In this age of accountability spurred by No Child Left Behind (NCLB), our upright schools have taken to out and out lying to suppress the number of violent incidents occurring so that schools can maintain their "safe" school status.
I wish I could just stay focused on the self-serving bureaucrats allowing children to be harmed in school each day all around the country. For I would rather feel anger toward them than the sadness that grips my heart when I think of defenseless children, abandoned in public schools for "their own good" by the parents whose charge it is to protect and teach them.
Homeschooling is certainly not easy and homeschoolers are not perfect. Yet is time for more parents to step up to the plate and face reality in admitting that the archaic, failing system of compulsory education is not good for kids. It just is not.