In 1994, M. Weston conducted a study which compared test scores of 16,322 homeschooled children from all 50 states against those of public schooled children. How did homeschoolers fare? If you’ve read anything about homeschooling, you probably already know. The homeschooled kids ranked in the 77th percentile against the public schooled children’s 50th percentile. These results were published in the April 3, 1996 edition of Education Week.
In 1988, the Hewitt Research Foundation conducted a study which compared the standardized test scores of homeschooled children against those of public schooled children. Once again, the homeschooled children beat the public schooled children. The homeschooled children ranked in the 80th percentile compared to the public schooled children’s 50th percentile. Imagine that.
I could go on for hours listing every study that’s compared homeschooled kids to public schooled kids. They all have one thing in common—they demonstrate in an objective way that homeschooled children do better than public schooled children in school, in college, at work, and in social situations. They play well with others and they achieve. But more importantly, they become model citizens and happy ones at that. If all children were that happy, there would be no school shootings.
So let’s run through some of the recent developments in public schooling over the past two decades. In 1991, C. Bishop’s doctoral dissertation at Kansas State University listed rape, arson, robbery, bombings, murder, gang warfare, student suicides, and spree killings as recurrent modes of violence in public schools. You probably know the term spree killing better as school shooting. After the Columbine High School massacre, everyone in this country knows what is meant by the term school shooting. So let’s start there.
On April 20, 1999 at Columbine High School in Columbine, Colorado, two seniors murdered twelve students and one teacher. They injured 24 others. This was the first highly publicized school shooting, but was not the first. Not by a long shot.
On May 1, 1992 at Lindhurst High School in Olivehurst, California, a male student killed four people and wounded ten others as retribution for a failing grade.
On December 14, 1992 at Simon’s Rock College in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, a male student murdered two people and wounded four others when his homophobic remarks resulted in a dorm room search.
On October 1, 1997 at Pearl High School in Pearl, Mississippi, a male student murdered three people and wounded seven others as retaliation for being bullied.
On December 1, 1997 at Heath High School in West Paducah, Kentucky, a male junior high student murdered three people and wounded five others as they participated in a prayer circle.
On March 24, 1998 at Westside Middle School in Craighead County, Arkansas, two male students aged 13 and 11 murdered five people and wounded ten others as they exited the building during a fire alarm the two intentionally set off.
On May 21, 1998 at Thurston High School in Springfield, Oregon, a male student murdered two people and wounded 25 others after killing his parents at home. He had recently given a speech to his speech class on how to make a bomb. This was less than a year before the Columbine shooting.
On May 20, 1999 at Heritage High School in Conyers, Georgia, a male student wounded six people exactly one month after the Columbine shootings.
On March 5, 2001 at Santana High School in Santee, California a male student murdered two people and wounded thirteen others.
On March 21, 2005 at Lake Senior High School in Red Lake, Minnesota, a male student murdered nine people and wounded five others after killing his grandfather, a local police officer.
On April 16, 2007 at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, a university student murdered 33 people and wounded 25 others in a two hour siege.
On February 14, 2008 at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois a male former student murdered six people and wounded 21 others.
On March 31, 2011 at Worthing High School in Houston, Texas, several gunmen opened fire during a powder puff football game, killing one person and wounding five others.
On February 27, 2012 at Chardon High School in Chardon, Ohio, a male student murdered three people and wounded three others in what appeared to be a cafeteria bullying incident.
On April 7, 2012 at Oikos University in Oakland, California a male student murdered seven people and wounded three others. Oikos is a Christian university.
On December 14, 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut an adult male murdered 28 people and injured two others after killing his mother.
On June 7, 2013 at Santa Monica College in Santa Monica, California a male former student murdered six people and injured four others.
This is a very short list of school shootings, narrowed to those which involved injured or murdered students and injuries or deaths involving at least six people. They are spread evenly across the U.S. including Colorado, California, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Kentucky, Arkansas, Oregon, Georgia, Minnesota, Virginia, Illinois, Texas, Ohio, and Connecticut, but they represent small towns, big cities, farming communities, religious schools, and mountain neighborhoods. There was even one in Alaska.
No one is immune from school shootings. Even after we homeschool our children we still must send them into the world where we can’t protect them. But consider this: Wouldn’t it be closer to a shooting-free community if every child was homeschooled in a loving home?
Here is a list of what my friends’ public schooled children have had to endure which are nothing less than a type of sexual harassment and brainwashing:
- 7th graders putting condoms on bananas in sex ed class without parental consent or knowledge. (A 10 year old was present).
- 6th graders being forced to watch videos on sexually transmitted diseases and oral, anal, and vaginal sex that were somewhat homophobic in nature. Although naked people were not shown it was graphic enough to deeply disturb the children.
- 8th graders being taught breast self exams by a male teacher who required the female students to demonstrate the breast self exam through their clothing as he watched.
I read a newspaper article written a few years ago by a distraught mother of a kindergarten child in California. Her child was interrogated and then insulted in front of the rest of the class for using plastic bags in his lunch. His teacher, who was very environmentally conscious, sent him home with a note to his mother that he should only use reusable plastic containers to hold his lunch.
Another mother complained on her blog about her son being expelled from elementary school for bringing a Swiss knife to school. He didn’t injure anyone; he brought it for show and tell. When his teacher discovered it, he was immediately sent to the principal’s office where he was promptly suspended. His mother was called to pick him up and, when she threatened to sue the school district, he was immediately expelled. Last I heard she had attorneys lining up by the dozens to take her case.
You can search the internet and read other horror stories. Strip searches and body cavity searches in high schools. Sexual predators not only in the school staff but in other students and their relatives. Gang rapes in locker rooms. Beatings in the gym. When I attended public high school there were no metal detectors. The eating utensils in the school cafeteria included real knives and forks. My mother never had to worry about being called by the principal to be told I was expelled for having a bottle of ibuprofen in my locker. In fact, if anyone at the school had searched my locker they’d be promptly fired by the principal and the school board, which back then was made up of parents.
Now let’s talk about parents. Children aren’t the only ones who suffer in public school; parents do too. Now laws provide teachers a means to terrorize parents with little effort at all. If your kid has a bruise, his teacher can notify Child Protective Services. I say can because it’s a judgment call when it’s one bruise. If there are more than one, your child’s teacher is obligated to call Child Protective Services and report you. If you doubt they will, Google it. You’ll find many stories of parents who never thought they’d be fighting Social Services for their children.
Shortly after the Patriot Act was passed, I read a series of newspaper articles about parents being bullied on planes by flight attendants. One was arrested the moment she deplaned and her children were taken from her because the flight attendant thought she’d given her youngest child alcohol. A normal person would not make that assumption, but this mother had called the flight attendant a not so nice name and she retaliated in the extreme. Now imagine your child’s teacher doing the same. It happens.
Many new parents naively believe their public school is safe, that it’s different from all those other public schools where these things happen. Don’t believe it.