Oh my! Many conservatives and Libertarians and homeschoolers have been getting in a bit of a fuss this short segment from MSNBC regarding children and education.
What has been said is that we should get rid of the “private idea” of parenting and realize that children belong to the community.
No offense to anyone who has taken offense to this, but….are you actually participating in reality?
Yes, your child is your child. And, yes, my child is my child. Yes, those children are their own people (who each need a lot of guidance and love and liberty).
However, my child will ultimately be growing up with your child and with the child down the street who was beaten and may chance across the kid whose dad is a gang member or the one whose parents are drug addicts. That is the reality we’re faced with. Those children are going to grow up with our children.
Should all of those children be homeschooled? Should their schools be less-than-stellar because of where they live and how much their parents don’t make?
One of those children could grow up to hurt or kill my child or your child. Or our grandchildren. That is the reality we’re faced with.
There is an ideal world where every child has an adult who loves that child more than the world and has the capacity to educate and build character. I think–I’m sure–that my libertarian friends know we are not in that world.
Yes, good parents are good parents. Nothing has been said here to undermine any good parents. However, we need to remember that not all parents are good and that their children still need the guidance of others to have a chance at being the kind of person you want YOUR children to interact in the world with. We need to remember our nation’s high school dropout rate and to consider whether or not all children–being free individuals–should be able to get equality in education.
Do we opt to put the money up for education now or pay to incarcerate the ignored later?
Personally, I’ve been a victim of crime, and I don’t wish a violent world for my daughter. I wish her a world where everyone in her peer group has at least one positive force in their lives. I am saddened that so many young ones begin their lives by being neglected and abused–or that others have never seen a book before enrolling in kindergarten or that they’ve been locked in a playpen for most of the day for years. I’m saddened that many parents don’t have the capacity, education, or insight to instill common sense and empathy in their children. I am hopeful that many schools will be able to provide for kids–all kids, not just those with money or parents who care–what each cannot provide alone. I hope that whatever shortfalls my husband and I have in parenting, a school or a teacher will be able to make up for–and I hope our daughter does her part to help heal our broke society.
It makes no sense to me, whatsoever, to make cuts to education when, as a parent, my primary concern is my daughter growing up to be healthy, safe, and strong. Cutting education to those who need it most, the impoverished and the ones who don’t have parents who care (parents like you), would seem to do the opposite of making a safe and happy world for my daughter.