Depending on whom you ask, as many as 19 school shootings have taken place since the beginning of the year. But if you ask me, one would have been more than enough to yank my daughter out of public school and teach her at home.
And when you throw in the countless numbers of incidents where children are being brutally attacked by school resource officers and groomed by sexual predators employed as teachers and administrators, I wonder why anybody would bat an eyelash at the fact that my daughter hasn't spent a day in public school. For my family, homeschooling was the only answer.
Don't get me wrong. I am a product of the Houston Independent School District. Since the third grade, I was enrolled in the Vanguard Program for gifted and talented students. It still ranks in the top 10 of the nation's best college prep programs.
Participation meant riding the bus across town to school everyday, but we still had the best of both worlds. We studied challenging subjects and participated in clubs and athletics.
Socially, we were able to befriend students from all parts of the city who hailed from very diverse cultures. I wouldn't trade my experience, even with its lowest points, for anything.
I don't know if social media is just amplifying long-standing problems or if things are actually worse now than in the 20th century, but it seems to me that our children are under siege and nobody in authority really cares to stop it. It's not like we have time to wait for things to magically get better. How many children have to die before gun laws change?
And what is wrong with these teachers who think that it is okay to "date" 13 and 14-year-old children? Every time I turn around, there is some story about a teacher who has been impregnated by a student or vice versa. If it isn't the history teacher, then it's some track coach. Clearly the supervisors need supervision because all of this is happening right under their noses.
If nothing else, I am sure of this: Children deserve a safe environment where they can learn and grow without having to decide whether or not they will take a bullet for their classmates or have a baby with the history teacher.
What we have right now are a bunch of underpaid, over-burdened educators who are now being asked to pick up guns and defend our children from other children. Adding insult to injury, administrators have to been on the lookout for "overly-attentive" teachers and staff to make sure that students aren't being molested on school grounds or elsewhere.
It is really difficult for me to understand how any learning can go on in these kinds of environments. Public schools aren't all bad, but this bad behavior has been largely unchecked. I kept my daughter at home as far away from this madness as possible and I would do it all again--in a heartbeat. If homeschooling is right for them, then every parent should have the freedom to do the same.