I am not really sure where to start. Mostly I am annoyed. Being a homeschooler in a lot of Facebook groups and out in the world I have been seeing a LOT of new people asking about homeschooling and what is involved, in the wake of the Parkland, FL school shooting. It happens after every school shooting, but for some reason (maybe the amazing students at the school speaking out?) it has been much more notable.
I have heard, no less than 10 times since the Parkland shooting, “Gee, I bet you are glad you homeschool!” from some stranger out in public. Keep in mind, I don’t go out much…so to hear it that many times is ridiculous.
And while, yes, I am AM glad we homeschool, it has *nothing* to do with school shooters. I am glad we homeschool for reasons completely unrelated and completely unique to my family.
I absolutely understand the knee-jerk reaction of wanting to keep our kids safe. It’s incredibly scary to have it be such a common event and never knowing where it will happen next.
However the reality is that homeschooling won’t get rid of the threat. It will keep your child from being in danger *at* the high school, but what about college? What about the movie theatre? What about church?
Also, what about the greater community? If all the people that are able to pull their kids do, the only kids left are the ones with family that aren’t able to make it work. Maybe a single mom, or a sick grandma, or needing to work 2 or 3 jobs to feed their family. Are they less deserving of being safe through their high school experience? What about the teachers? Are they less deserving of a safe work day because they signed up for this difficult, underpaid, under appreciated job? Guess how happy the GOP would be if public schools failed because of people pulling their kids? They.would.be.thrilled.
The solution to school shootings isn’t everyone pulling their kids. The solution is what those teenagers in Parkland, and across the country, have been doing. Resisting. Fighting. Standing up for their right to a safe education. Hitting companies where it hurts them most, the bottom line. Several companies have cut ties with the NRA in the last couple of days. Others are being inundated requests from customers to do the same. Writing local and national politicians. Calling them. Using resistbot. Encouraging all 17 year olds to register to vote. THAT is the solution.
For the first time since Sandy Hook, five years ago, I have a little glimmer of hope that something might actually change. I swore after that happened that nothing would change the laws and regulations if a room full of dead 1st graders didn’t. Now, I am finally seeing the chance for at least a little bit of progress. I live in Vermont, one of the easiest states in the nation to own a gun. There are no laws or background checks. You want a gun, you go buy one. No need for permits (conceal carry or otherwise). Our Republican governor has finally spoken out and said something needs to change and has proposed a few options to at least get a FEW laws, like universal background checks, on the books.
If you still want to homeschool, okay. Just don’t expect it to be easy, and don’t expect it to keep your child safe, because it won’t. The only way to help ensure the safety of these children, and future children is to do something about the guns.