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Yet Another Reason Why We Homeschool

Another tragedy today.

One of our deciding factors in bringing Dawson home from public school was his experience with bullying, and the fear associated with it. At the time he broke down and begged us to take him out of school, he was dealing with a bully who was already in ISS (In-School Suspension) for fighting who had sent out word that when he got out he was going to "hurt" Dawson. And for absolutely no reason.

It was during this grade (7th grade) that Dawson was trying to figure out who he was. He was finding that he was not a jock; he was not a band geek (a highly revered position in our high school); and he was not an honors student. He liked to ride his skateboard. He was a really good kid caught between the bad kids and the popular kids. He's always been friends with the unaccepted, and in middle school you don't to be one of those kids. He was so lost. He lost friends he had always had. His sister was told by one of the popular girls that Dawson was "weird".

I noticed in an interview with one of the students in the cafeteria during the shooting today, that he used to be friends with the shooter until after junior high. The shooter had "become" an outsider. Of course there are reports that he was an outcast, was searching for his identity, and was bullied. Classmates and teachers are shocked and said they never saw it coming, that he was a quiet and smart kid.

That could have been my son. We hear about kids who commit suicide because of bullying and unacceptance. We hear about kids who bring a gun to school because they get pushed to the end of their ropes.

I am just speculating. But do you think the shooter's parents ever called the school and asked them to PLEASE intervene in the bullying? Do you think that boy's mama shed tears over how kids felt about and treated her son and tried to get the school to stop those same kids who got shot today from being mean to her son? I don't know.

What's going on in the public school system right now is a tragedy. People ALL THE TIME ask me (rudely, usually) about whether I am concerned about Dawson's lack of socialization at school. My answer is usually, "Have you been in your public high school lately? It's a scary place!" There are very disturbed kids there. There are mean kids that think they are better than everyone else. And there are kids who feel like they are worthless. I am not interested in my son having the socialization at school that is available to him. No thank you.

I wonder how happy the shooter's parents and the victims' parents are that their kids were getting socialization at school today. I may not make every good decision for my kids, but this is one regret I will not have.


  1. Last week, here in our county a 3rd grader shot another 3rd grader at school. That's the age Bradley was when we pulled him out of public school. Like you, I had this incredible "that could have been my son" revelation. Thank God for homeschool; Thank God for a country that allows us to homeschool freely. Something needs to be done, but until then, I'll hold mine just a little bit closer ... and keep them from that kind of "socialization".

  2. Amen Nicole. When people make the socialization comment to me, I just ask them to walk down the hallway at the local high school and tell me what behavior they see that they think my kid should be emulating. Thanks, but no thanks.

    Dawson sounds like a sweet and NORMAL boy! Yay for normal, well adjusted kids!

  3. What a sad situation, and I agree with you 100%.

    Our local elementary school had a teacher (this was the year after I took my daughter out) who murdered her husband by poisoning him. Nice.

    Our public schools are severely broken, and I'm not willing to sacrifice my children for the "ideal" of a public education for all!

  4. I admire your courage and the love you have for your son to help him out of the scary place he was in at school into an environment where he can be himself and learn in peace and love. My son is the same age as yours and it was soon after Columbine happened (way back when) that I began thinking of homeschooling my bright, sensitive son who I perceived at the time as being a child who would not fit in easily to the school setting in more ways than one. I could see him being bullied at that time and was afraid of that overshadowing his learning and shaping who he became. Thank you for sharing this.

  5. Hear hear! We tried for years to stop the bullying and the admin staff turned out to be worse billies than the kids! The final straw for us was when K, 12 year old and 85 lbs, was stabbed in the hand with a pencil by another boy who was walking past. No warning, no reason, just stabbed him and left. The school principal called my son a liar, even with the bleeding hole in his hand as evidence, because the other boy (who was just back from a bullying one-day suspension of another smaller boy) "is such a nice kid and doesn't do that kind of thing". I'm always just amazed that more kids like K and Dawson don't go postal.


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