Home schooling can be a great thing. Done right, and for the right reasons, children can be taught at a faster pace and can learn more advanced topics because of parents’ freedom to cater lessons to individual children–and then, there’s these people. Unfortunately, a growing movement in the extremist religious Right is encouraging parents to pull their children out of public schools and educate them at home, where they can safely be cultivated into mindless, uneducated drones–just like their parents.
Home schooling is for children who have responsible, educated parents who have the time to teach them–otherwise, we continue to see emaciated children who are forced to live off of insects and parents who fight for their child’s right to learn absolutely nothing because the Rapture is coming, and Jesus doesn’t care if someone is educated or not.
A Virginia couple is headed to court because they don’t want to have to prove that their children is learning anything. Jeff and Stephanie Dent, who have been home schooling their children for almost three years, are sick and tired of socialist standardized testing. In the past, their kids have taken the required tests, but now they want to opt out–because it hurts their precious little snowflakes spiritually.
By law, the Dents must provide the district superintendent evidence of their children’s academic growth. However, the family has decided it does not want to do that anymore because “Being subjected to the test itself makes them feel like they are being scrutinized.” Stephanie Dent said that “For them, spiritually, right now, it doesn’t feel right.”
“Aside from reading, writing and arithmetic everything else is done as much as humanly possible in real life” said Jeff Dent. “We do both prayer and meditation. A lot of it happens in vivo when you’re outside with the chickens and you hear a breeze go through the trees” said Stephanie Dent.
Virginia’s code on religious exemption allows local school boards to determine whether a family’s religious beliefs grant them an exemption from standardized tests–and the Dents say that their local school board is flawed and discriminatory. The Assistant Superintendent, following procedure, requested notarized statements from their minister and other nonrelative adults who can testify to the validity of their religious convictions.
The Dents, however, stopped attending church, and do not have a pastor. Without those letters, the Dents were told that the Assistant Superintendent would recommend the board deny their request for exemption from proving they are doing their jobs.
“It kind of seems like they are assuming that we might be lying” said Jeff Dent. “That really separates those who congregate from those who do not, instead of recognizing their personal religious belief” his wife added.