Power of Story Behind Homeschool Regulation Psychology?

21 06 2009

Novelist Jodi Picoult profiled in today’s NYT Magazine:

. . .the enda[n]gered or ruined child has emerged as a media entity within a culture that has idealized the responsibilities of parenthood to a degree, as has been exhaustively noted, unprecedented in human history. The more we seek to protect our children, the more we fear the consequences of an inability to do so.

. . .the threat is found not so much in the wilderness of strangers and poorly vetted caregivers as it is within families, churches (Picoult’s book “A Perfect Match” deals with clerical sex abuse), schools and other narrowly circumscribed communities, in which insularity proves an ineffective mechanism of protection.

. . .It is worth noting that growth of children-in-peril literature (and its companion programming) has correlated with a rising judicial tendency to regard children as especially vulnerable victims.

Snook’s state (Nance and JJ both unschool in Florida) seems forever on the bleeding edge of child-in-peril psychology, as translated into social policy —

Community notification laws requiring law enforcement to make public information regarding registered sex offenders were introduced in the ’90s. By 2006, the federal Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, named after a 6-year old who was kidnapped from a Florida mall and killed 25 years earlier, strengthened registration requirements and increased punishment for crimes against children. Jessica’s Law, an aggressive 2005 Florida statue, copied by other states, did this as well, introducing a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years and a lifetime of electronic monitoring for adults convicted of “lewd or lascivious” acts against children under 12.

Yet here in Florida home education has been and remains less regulated than are places with far less dramatic true crime stories. Separation from both Church and State controls is respected, by law.

So it’s hard to know where the story will end. . .

See also Teach the Controversy: UN Convention on Rights of the Child

What’s Young and Stupid?  What’s Old Enough to Know Better

Spanking as Child Abuse?

Latest Homeschool FreakOut From World Net Daily

Right Thinking About Parent Rights: Polygamy and Homeschooling

No Perfect Protection for Our Kids But Better Thinking Would Help

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8 responses

21 06 2009
Crimson Wife

Research has shown that contrary to what the elite media would have everyone believe, Catholic priests are NO more likely to be pedophiles than clergy of other faiths and LESS likely to be pedophiles than teachers and other “helping” professions.

The most common pedophile? A stepfather or boyfriend of the mother. If more children in this country lived in traditional nuclear families there would be far fewer victims of sex abuse…

21 06 2009
JJ

Not what this whole piece was about though, at all. For anyone who didn’t read the whole thing and get the point about why home education is facing this environment, it’s clear that no one is picking on Catholic priests? Even in the brief part quoted above, circumscribed communities explicitly include FAMILIES, also TEACHERS (schools) and churches generally, not specifically Catholics:

“. . .within families, churches (Picoult’s book “A Perfect Match” deals with clerical sex abuse), schools and other narrowly circumscribed communities. . .”

21 06 2009
Dana

Just musing, but in an atmosphere of fear–“stranger danger” at irrationally high levels–would that lead to the public mistrusting homeschoolers or to empathizing with them?

22 06 2009
JJ

Musing with you — maybe it depends mainly on how we play it?

So, not being strangers ourselves (as you pointed out last week, when people meet us they like us 🙂 ) but also, not volubly freaking out about possible strangers lurking in all of society’s institutions including government, calling that the federal sky is falling and we’re being oppressed (hearing the Monty Python movie in my head, with the serf yelling, ‘Elp, ‘elp, I’m bein’ op-PRESSED!”)

22 06 2009
Nance Confer

CW, I don’t think the ick factor about priests is that we think more of them are pedophiles. The creepy feeling come from the secrecy. And the trust abused.

Saying they are no better than the rest of us sets the bar pretty low.

And as for the “we should all be Ozzy and Harriet” vision — if pigs could fly. . . there’d still be child abuse.

Nance

22 06 2009
Nance Confer

And, yes, JJ. We do seem to live in a place where the sky is always falling. Our legislators don’t seem to do much that might actually help children but they sure know how to milk a story.

Nance

22 06 2009
JJ

FavD and her university religion studies are literarily and literally (as I can’t get out of my mind) chock-full of child abuse, institutionalized as “education” and training and proper parenting, good for society and godly besides . . .

26 06 2009
Remember That Michael Jackson “Homeschooled” His Kids « Cocking A Snook!

[…] comic, her 18-year-old son off to a misbegotten war in the Middle East, whew!) never mind a whole world full of hungry, poor and health-threatened children, literally mutilated or enslaved children, abused and neglected children, church-cult-terrorism […]

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