Last night I received a lengthy and thoughtful rebuttal from a Christian public schoolteacher regarding the column I just posted called Lazy Homeschoolers. Rather than letting the comment languish unseen, I thought I'd bring it to the forefront.
Good Evening. I read this post because someone on Facebook linked this article to their page, and I just wanted to give my opinion of the article. I am hoping that since you open your comment section to the public that you are in favor of all comments, even if they don't mirror your own.
First of all, I have to say that the article was offensive as a product of the American public schools, as an educator in public schools, and most of all as a Christian. Here are my reasons:
As a product of public schools, I can assure you that I have never been brainwashed by "atheist indoctrination" as the original writer, Ron Strom, assumes, nor do I know any fellow public-schoolers that have been. In fact, many of my teachers in school made it very clear to me that were Christians. Every once in a while, we were taught other religions alongside Christianity, but it was always taught as strictly informational and never invitational (which I found it very interesting to learn about these other religions, especially since I have since met people practicing these religions and it is much easier for me to talk to them about my religion when I am not completely ignorant about theirs). In 9th grade, we were briefly taught about the theory of evolution, which is another concept that students need to know about (and make the decision for themselves about what they think about it) if they ever want to be involved in a scientific field (how much credibility would a Creationist have if they had never heard of evolution? none). Other than these two instances, I don't remember any other controversial teachings in my K - 12 schooling. I think it is insulting to my parents, who certainly raised me in a Deuteronomy 6:7 kind of way. They sent me to public school because they knew that a teacher, who went to college for their specific subject area, could teach me calculus, physics, literature, and history better than they could (this is not an attack on parents who homeschool, it is just the opinion of my parents). They did not ever have to "deprogram" me of what I was taught at school because they taught me to find out things for myself, and if I didn't agree with something that I learned at school, they encouraged me to study it for myself and find out what the Bible said about that subject. They did a great job of bringing me up in the "nurture and admonition of the Lord." It seems as though the Wife of Noble Character in Proverbs 31 did a fine job of bringing up her children as well, even though she was planting a vineyard, trading, sewing, making and selling linen garments. Her husband was busy taking his seat among the elders of the land, so it doesn't seem that they had the time to be the only teachers in their childrens' lives.
As an educator in the American public schools, I can absolutely assure you that I (nor my co-workers) participate in "atheistic indoctrination" of our students. We would get fired. I can also assure you that, as a math teacher, I have never even imagined giving math problems about cocaine or chopped up body parts (as a previous comment stated). Now, I understand that not every teacher is perfect, and some teachers probably do not need to be teachers. I've also met a few inadequate parents that homeschool their children, but I certainly don't write blogs grouping ALL homeschool parents together and accusing them all of doing a lousy job. Please understand that when you copy a story such as this one, you are talking about millions of INDIVIDUALS that spend most of their waking hours caring for, loving, teaching, and planning for their students (some of which don't get that standard of care at their own homes). If you would like, I can send you information about how you can visit my classroom in order to form your own opinions about my teaching and what students are learning in my classroom. Until then, please do not judge me, my profession, and the product of my profession until you actually know what happens in my classroom.
As a Christian, this article offends me because if all of the Christians take their children out of public schools (as it suggests), who will tell the children left in public school about Jesus? I really wish you could see what a difference some of my students make in the lives of others by being in public schools and telling others of their faith. Jesus spent his time on earth eating with sinners, and in Mark 2:17, He says, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners." Shouldn't we do the same? I completely agree with your (and Mr. Strom's) idea that we are to provide our children with "spiritual instruction." But, how are our children to be "witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth" if they are only around other Christians? I also think that it is belittling to my religion that you and Mr. Strom assume that Christians won't be strong enough to stand up to this "cultural swamp." 1 John 5:4 says, "for everyone born of God overcomes the world." I am not suggesting that every child should just be thrown into the world and hope that things turn out okay. I am suggesting that if a child/teen has a firm foundation in Jesus Christ, then sometimes they need to be among the sinners, sharing their faith.
I just don't understand where these children are going to live and work in which they will be constantly sheltered from "pop culture" and "peer pressure?" I'm glad that I was able to experience these things while growing up because it helps me know how to handle them now that I face them in even stronger proportions as an adult.
Thank you for your time.