About 8 am at our house:
About 8 am at a public high school in Ohio:
Would you rather your kids were here, or there?
Sadly, this school shooting was no anomaly, nor an isolated incident. We hear about them all the time. And something else we keep hearing - "I never thought it could happen here!"
And for what? What are the benefits of throwing our children to the wolves in the public school system? Better education - hardly. If your child does well academically, it will only be because you taught them yourself at home, before and after school. Better socialization - hardly. Children in school are limited to hanging out with the same kids, in the same age group, day after day, often year after year. Negative influences and bullies are the norm, not the exception. While as adults we are accustomed to dealing with these, a child that is yet in his/her formative years may be permanently damaged by these. Family ties are destroyed as siblings and parents are separated and scattered all over town for much of the waking hours.
I don't want my 10-year old daughter dying after getting in a fight at school over a boy. I don't want any single one of them around jerks that will paw all over them, use them, and discard them. Our daughters are so precious, their value so "far above rubies", that only the best of the best will ever even stand a chance to be allowed near them. That's what Dads (and big brothers) are for - to keep away the creeps, who would love nothing more than to defile a naive, precious, godly young lady. Sure, you may call me overprotective - I will be glad when it is not my daughter pregnant out of wedlock, living with a man she is not married to. If they were in school all day, I would have no clue who was preying on them, and giving them the attention they craved and deserved, and which I failed to give. I wish someone would have loved me enough as a child to protect me from perverts and freaks everywhere.
Drugs, alcohol, bad peers, pedophiles - none of these are in our home. Sure, I could expose my child to all of them, and hope for the best. I could also allow them to ride in the car with no seat belt, ride their bikes along a busy city street, or leave them outside to play alone after dark - but I don't do those things because I am a responsible parent that tries to minimize unnecessary risks.
This week, I read a really lame post by another, once-popular blogger, in which she indirectly makes herself out to be a better parent because she is "that parent" - the parent that is not snobbish, overprotective, perfectly manicured, and a mother to one young prodigy. I have no doubt that the entire scene she conjured up of the "perfect parent" is entirely fictitious to excuse her own failures. I don't think that in order to be a good parent, it is necessary for my children to be on antidepressants following my divorce, admitted to psychiatric clinics, physically assaulting me or their siblings, piercing their ears with safety pins, and at best turning out okay after years of stress and agony. Nor am I a perfect, rich mother to one perfect child. In between those extremes (sadly only the latter of which is fictitious, and the first this blogger's actual situation) is a third, right option: raising normal children, in normal homes, in spite of the normal struggles. No, I DON'T want to be "that parent" whose child kills another, defiles another, assaults another. No, I DON'T want to be "that parent" whose child is killed, defiled, or assaulted by another.
No doubt, this lady is no better or worse as a mother in her intentions than I am, or most moms are. The difference is that I am a Christian that believes and tries to follow the Bible, and she isn't. I am not better or smarter - I just came across a better, and guaranteed recipe, for success, if applied correctly and consistently. Public school is not part of that recipe.
No thanks. I'll just take my chances with homeschooling. For us, it seems to be turning out fabulous, responsible, happy, caring, well-groomed, polite, educated, pleasant human beings - as the RULE, not the EXCEPTION. Since, at their respective ages, our kids are doing much better than the vast majority of their public-school peers, I'll just believe that this trend will continue. Not because we are better parents, but because we have a better method. Namely one based on the Bible and God's wisdom, not the wisdom of a murderous government that cannot even balance a checkbook.
If you are waiting for a devastating call from your child's school before waking up, it will be too late. You will be the one living with regrets, not us.