Thursday, May 28, 2015

Speaking of the Duggars. . .

I think this whole horrible molestation story is a pretty good argument for banning home-schooling.

Hear me out.

For one thing, there's no way to control what kind of crazy shit these people are teaching their kids.

Why do you think the Duggars home-schooled their kids? Because Michelle Duggar was such a gifted educator? I mean, even if she was, she's got a dozen or more school-aged children at any one time, all at different grade levels. She's trying to teach all of them while cooking for a small army battalion with a toddler around her ankles and an infant on her breast. Do you think any of those kids got any sort of a decent education?

Not that a decent education is really the goal. Especially for the girls. What are the odds that any of those girls learns more than the basic arithmetic needed to treble a recipe meant for a normal family and enough language skills to get through the Bible?

And, look, if they're just being poorly educated, that's not necessarily the end of the world. If they grow up believing that the world is a few thousand years old, the sun revolves around the earth, and Jesus rode on a dinosaur, that just means none of them are going to have a career in the sciences. And what are the odds that that was going to happen anyway? No real harm done.

But in the last several days, we've been seeing some of the more horrific parts of the home-school curriculum the Duggars and other like-minded families have been using.

Duggar Family: Sexual Abuse Counseling Form

Maybe scientific ignorance is fairly harmless, but teaching young girls that they brought sexual molestation onto themselves by failing to dress modestly enough - that is criminal.

Look at # 6: IF the abused was not at fault. Because most of the time, according to this mindset, obviously it's the fault of the victim. So, according to this curriculum, maybe being molested isn't so bad, because God compensates for the abuse with "spiritual power." You know, IF you weren't at fault, which you probably were, what with not wearing a burqa around your brother, Lolita! And point #8 pretty strongly implies that, given a choice, it's better to have been sexually assaulted, because otherwise God wouldn't have given you this spiritual gift because apparently the god they worship is a pretty sick bastard.

And this brings me back to my original question. Why do people like the Duggars homeschool their kids? Not because they think they'll do a better job than a real school, but because it's the best way to keep them from being exposed to the outside world.

If the Duggar daughters had been sent to an actual school, there might have been a teacher, or counselor or school nurse that they could have told about the abuse and the authorities could have been notified (the real authorities, not a family friend who happens to be a state trooper and has a thing for child pornography) and they could have put a stop to it.

To be clear, I'm not saying that the Duggars made the decision to home-school with the idea that should their son molest their daughter(s) this would help keep them from reporting the abuse. But this is an unintended consequence of keeping their children isolated from the modern world. I'm sure that the intent is to keep the children from being "led astray" by a teacher who mentions Darwin, or a classmate who smokes cigarettes, or a friend who tells them that it's not actually normal to be beaten with a rod by your parents.

And yes, I'm sure that there are many perfectly good parents who homeschool their kids for perfectly legitimate reasons. But too bad. Send your fucking kid to school. A real school.  Because even though you may be giving your kids a legitimate education,. there's no way to know that. There's no way of knowing who is home-schooling because they're over-indulgent new-age dorks who think that their special snowflake kids should be able to choose what they want to learn about even if that means going to look at dinosaur skeletons every damn day, or if you're the kind of psycho nut that's teaching your kids shit like this: