WaPo Attacks Homeschooling

Culture

State of the Union: The Washington Post takes aim at conservative Christian homeschoolers.

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There was a piece in the Washington Post this morning about a non-profit group pushing for more stringent regulations on homeschooling parents and a group of adults homeschooled as children who regret their experiences.

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The purpose of a piece like this—there are countless adults who could point to negative experiences they’ve had at public schools—is to undermine homeschooling, which is a threat to progressives’ ability to transmit their values to young people and create fissures between children and their supposedly hidebound parents.

I am always amazed in pieces like this by reporters’ contempt for and caricaturish views of conservative Christianity. This author thinks conservative Christians view homeschooling as “a tool for binding children to fundamentalist beliefs they felt were threatened by exposure to other points of view.” That’s not quite right. Public schools aren’t the Agora. They’re often staffed by people indifferent or actively hostile to Christian moral teaching. They’re not allowed to teach the Bible. Christian parents might well want to prevent their impressionable children from being exposed to educators who hate their faith and to exempt them from an environment that is officially secular.

When Harvard’s Elizabeth Bartholet proposed a “presumptive ban on homeschooling” in 2020, she emphasized that, in her proposed system, “religious or philosophical convictions [would] not [be] valid reasons for homeschooling.” Children homeschooled for such reasons, she said, would have been deprived of their “right to participate meaningfully in society with appreciation of societal values.” Your “religious or philosophical convictions,” on this view, don’t trump your child’s right to read homosexual erotica in the middle school library. And pieces like the one in the Post this morning are designed to reinforce that principle.