The Number One Advantage of Public Schools
Since moving to Florida, I have been struck by how many
educated people home school their children. This is mostly unheard of where I
am from in Pennsylvania. It is a lively debate here. I was very struck one day that
on a popular top 40s radio station, the DJ's had a discussion about
homeschooling versus public schooling. Many homeschooled children called up to
tell of their success stories. All of them were well spoken and had lively
careers, a family, and friends. Some described how they graduated college very
young. Others described how they went to work at just 16 learning life lessons
early on. No one called up to defend public schooling. On the facebook page,
however, the #1 defense for public schooling was, to my surprise, not so much
that home schooled children would be socially inept, as is often the charge,
but they "wouldn't know how to deal with bullies."
Even one of the DJ's questioned this supposed positive of
public schools, saying it was more of a con of public schools than a pro. Some
of the home schooled children's parents called up to address the issue, with
one parent pointing out that other organizations that the children are involved
in, such as sports, have bullies. So, hey great!, we have some bullies in our
children's lives to deal with.
I personally would like to know where is the plan of
how to teach children how to deal with bullies. The plan seems to be: simply
expose them to it! They'll figure it out somehow.
There was a story just a few years back of an elderly woman
who was riding a school bus with middle age children, and about 3 boys were
taunting her, calling her old and fat. The old woman clearly wilted at this and
was terribly upset. It was caught on camera and was a national news story. The
reaction from across America was to set up a charity for the woman. The charity
raised over $100,000, with the intent that the woman may be able to take a nice
Take note that this woman, an adult, was not expected to
"deal with bullies." Most adults who took notice of the story had
compassion for the woman. Yet somehow children are expected to have the skills
to deal with such bullies.
As an adult, most of us do not deal with bullies on our own.
If someone robs our house, we call the cops. Even at work, if there is a
workplace bully, there are usually systems in place to deal with the bully.
I do not think that those who propose children go to public
schools want them to "learn how to deal with" bullies but rather to accept
bullies. The unspoken belief is that bullies exist, will always exist, and even
should exist. So, forget about an ideal world where people actually deal with
each other peacefully and rationally. Accept violence.
There is a program that actually teaches how to deal with
bullies that I want to enthusiastically recommend. It is called Rad Kids. This
program teaches children to deal with potential adult predators and bullies at
school. To deal with predators, the program teaches children to fight back and
make a scene. It teaches them to trust their instincts. They also teach children
how to deal with bullies at school. This program has an actual plan and equips
children with actual skills. The public schools, not so much. The next time you
hear this debate about home schooling and the topic of bullying comes up,
please, please, please, recommend this program.
So, public schools, keep your bullies. Apparently it is one
of the few things you have going for you.
August 25, 2013