by Tammy Drennan
Independence in education is not an easy choice.
For many parents, it takes a tragedy or a crisis to make the choice, like the lady I talked with today who just moved into a new school district and whose 13-year-old daughter was violently assaulted on the school bus her first week at her new public school.
If there was any message I could get across to parents it would be this: Don’t get involved with the public schools to begin with. Choose freedom from the start. Once you’re involved you and your children become vulnerable in ways you can’t imagine – until it’s too late. By that time, getting out can be very difficult, and even when you do get out, there is the heartache and damage that can take years to repair.
I know that some readers will find my sentiments overstated, and I understand – maybe you’ve been one of the lucky ones whose children have navigated the rough waters and come out alive. A few have probably even come out relatively whole.
But take a look around you. Take a look at yourself, your spouse, your relatives and friends and coworkers, your children, society.
The vision and firm belief of the father of modern public education, Horace Mann, was a society of peace-loving, hard-working, moral, socially and psychologically healthy, loyal citizens. He believed that public schools were the only way to reach this lofty goal.
Not only have public schools, in their 160+ year history, not delivered on this promise, they have delivered quite the opposite. They themselves have become places of violence and fear, of cheating and slacking off, of immorality and conflict. And they spill out hoards of children thus conditioned, year after year after year, into the byways and highways of America – ripe and ready for our forces of police, prisons, psychiatrists and therapists, social workers and social programs.
So I return to my plea: Dear Parents, Please take a look around. Don’t you want something better for your children? Something more excellent? A bright future instead of a dysfunctional one? Happiness and contentment instead of a lifetime of therapy and medication?
No matter how hard it is to do it, you’re the only ones who can. The power is all yours, if you’re willing to take it. Once you give away your responsibility and power, all the demanding and whining and complaining in the world will not force the new owner to exercise it as you wish. It is out of your hands.
There is only one solution – take back your power, take back your children, do the tough thing. The more of us who do it, the greater will be the forces and resources that will back us up. The greater will be the reward. The better will be the future.