Homeschooling as a safety net for the intolerant?

Thank you Frank Cerabino, staff writer for the Palm Beach Post. Interesting thoughts.

This is why there is home schooling. Home schooling is a wonderful form of school choice. It allows parents lots of elbow room to create parallel universes, worlds of their own making inside the comfort of their own homes, where there never shall cross a fragment from the outside world that hasn’t been purified through the crucible of their own narrow beliefs.

It’s a safety net for the intolerant. Palm Beach Post

I actually am not on the side of Laura Lopez, the Palm Beach mother on a crusade to sanitize the school libraries in her area. Other than the fact that it is certainly within her rights as a mother of students in the system to make her opinions known. But we already know that when you drop off your children in the public system, their minds are directed by the system, not the parent.

[we] “do not have a fundamental
[due process] right generally to direct how a public school
teaches their child.”

Fields v. Palmdale School District, 9th District Court of Appeals

And that if you disagree, you can homeschool.

If parents do not like the rules imposed by those schools, they can seek redress in school boards or legislatures; they can send their children to private schools or home school them; or they can simply move.

Morse vs. Frederick, US Supreme Court

But homeschooling, even religious homeschooling, is not about creating a parallel universe, a world of our own or a place where nothing we disagree with ever crosses the vision field of our children. I’m sure there are people like that out there, just as there probably are still people out there who believe in a flat-earth.

If you think the public school is “open-minded,” try starting a campaign to have the bible used in coursework, the great classics of Christian thought treated on par with other philosophers and historians. The public school has its own worldview and it is not neutral. Christian students have had difficulties from administrators for bringing bibles, incorporating their faith into school papers, and otherwise expressing their religious beliefs in the public schools. Thankfully, the legal precedent does side with the students, but many of the schools themselves still seem to labor under the presumption that all speech but Christian speech is protected.

When a parent is concerned about what is being taught to their children or, more commonly I think, how it is being taught, they have every right to direct the education of their child.

And teaching them through my worldview, with my faith and my values is not creating a parallel universe. The essence of pluralism is diversity and mutual respect. It allows each of us to keep our own culture, our own religious beliefs, our own traditions in tact while respecting those around us.

I have no disrespect for atheists, Hindus, Muslims, etc. I have no desire to impose governmental regulations on any group for religious means. But I do think it ironic that, as a member of a group attempting to preserve a segment of that which has historically been distinctly American, I am accused of attempting to create a parallel universe. Because it doesn’t fit with the vision certain social engineers have for America.

If you agree with these social engineers, that is fine. I don’t mind what you teach your children. Just leave mine out of it.

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I always find it odd that the people claiming that homeschoolers are intolerant are often intolerant themselves. But because their intolerance, and sometimes ignorance, is directed at those whm they claim to be intolerant (and someitmes to be ignorant) they think that it is fine. It is a dizzying kind of logic.

Jennifer in OR

Do you know when the term “parallel universe” became so vogue? Maybe in response to the first mass immigration? Maybe in response to Jewish communities in Germany? Maybe in response to the rise of the religious right? In response to any diversity? It is so ironic that the term “parallel universe” is always used in response to a particular group striving to maintain its uniqueness — and the individual or group lobbing the term always claims a corner on the market of diversity or pluralism.


Doing it our own way is what’s great about homeschooling. Everyone is entitled their own opinion and I think everyone should at least respect those opinions, as long as it doesn’t violate anything.

Marcy Muser

Dana, thanks so much for your thoughts on this. I saw the editorial, too, and was very frustrated by its sarcastic tone. I’ve linked to your post:

Crimson Wife

I wonder what Mr. Cerabino thinks of families who choose to homeschool because they feel that public schools are too conservative? I’ve run across some of them- are they creating a “parallel universe” in their homes too?

I’m leery of government censorship but am totally in favor of parents making decisions for their *own* children in accordance with their *own* family’s values. That’s called being a responsible parent! I may or may not agree with Mrs. Lopez about the appropriateness of the titles she finds offensive, but I definitely support her right to keep them from her own children.


I agree, Crimson Wife. I don’t agree with the lady’s approach, either. But I do object to the stereotyping of homeschooling in this manner.

“The essence of pluralism is diversity and mutual respect. It allows each of us to keep our own culture, our own religious beliefs, our own traditions in tact while respecting those around us.” This is so me…and yet I rarely run in to it anywhere. I am intolerant? Sheesh And this is so NOT my husband! So where is the parallel universe we are creating in which the outside world has been forbidden to cross? My children live with both perspectives and encounter many more at work and church and with friends. Does this man truly think our children are… Read more »

It’s frustrating that people who are against home schooling will never stop with their complains. They’ll just make up different stories trying to prove that their way is always better.