There is probably no other person who has so passionately championed the cause of independent, parent-controlled education. Marshall devoted a major portion of his life to the cause of liberty and the last fourteen years to freedom in education.
I’ve known Marshall for most of the last fourteen years. I interviewed him once many years ago and started a second, more personal, interview on May 1st of this year. I never got to finish the second interview. Our intention was to complete it by e-mail over time, but it was not to be.
I could write all sorts of things about Marshall’s beliefs about education and the state, but that’s available at the Alliance web site.
Instead, I’d like to talk about some things from our second partial-interview that I think all parents will find thought-provoking and important.
On his personal web site, Marshall has a few pages devoted to his “bucket lists” – things he wanted to do before dying.
One item he mentions is the desire to write something about the only time his mother told him she loved him. She was 81-years-old and on her deathbed. She was an involved mother, but Marshall told me in our interview that his relationship with her was strained. She was strict and demanding – and had never told her children she loved them. When she finally did, it was something Marshall never forgot.
So, tell your children today that you love them, even if they’re grown, even if it’s hard because you’ve never done it or your relationship has been difficult.
Another thing Marshall mentions on his web site and that made a strong impression on him is the time his otherwise quiet and peaceful dad punched a guy in the nose when he went too far verbally abusing little newspaper-delivery-boy Marshall.
I don’t suggest that you do the same, but imagine how your children would feel to see you stand up to the state’s school system and symbolically punch them in the nose. Then take your children’s hands and walk away. You’ve essentially said, “These are my children and I won’t stand by submissively and watch you treat them as if they are your property.” You will garner the respect of your children and empower them to manage their own liberty as they grow older.
Marshall has left us a rich legacy, both in his work and in opening up to share some very personal stories.
I’ll miss him, as I know many of you will.
– Tammy Drennan, November 5, 2008