Over there to Texas, Ma and Pa McIntyre, parents of nine children, have decided to sue the state because they chose to homeschool their kids and they don’t like that they have to teach their kiddos math and spelling and not just church hymns and Bible stories.
The McIntyre’s argument is: why waste time teaching children math and such when Jesus Christ will be back any minute and bring with Him the Rapture?
Seriously. But, this is Texas, and this is homeschooling in Texas, where families like the McIntyre’s are given a pass over what they teach their children. There is little to no oversight from actual educated educators, and the McIntyre’s, like most parents who homeschool their children, were never required to follow a curriculum or have their children take standardized tests like they would do in public, and private, schools. As a result, it appears the McIntyre children have turned into Bible-thumping-Jesus-loves-me-this-I-know illiterates.
The story initially broke when the McIntyre’s daughter realized she was being taught to be a moron, and ran away from home. She was placed in foster care and enrolled into public school, where she should have been a Senior, given her age, but was actually a Freshman, given her lack of education.
And then other members of the McIntyre family stepped up to say they, too, were concerned that the children were not being educated, adding that they never saw “the children reading, working on math, using computers or doing much of anything educational except singing and playing instruments.” One member of the family says he heard on of the children say “learning was unnecessary since “they were going to be raptured.”
That’s when the folks in the El Paso school district — whose job it is to monitor homeschooling parents and their children — checked in on the McIntyre family and found they weren’t bothering to teach any of their children even the most basic of educational skills — Readin’, Writin’, Arithmetic.
And so, because of this intrusion into their private family business, Ma and Pa McIntyre actually filed suit against the district and the state for oppressing their right to not educate their children.
They are suing because they feel that the fact that the El Paso school district can even ask about the well-being of their children is a “startling assertion of sweeping governmental power.” The case is now before the Texas Supreme Court, but the McIntyre’s are claiming that the all-Republican court is anti-Christian and won’t give them a fair shake.
Now, that’s crazy talk, right? I mean, even for Texas, and Republican courts, it’s crazy talk. Except … Greg Abbott, Texas’ ultra-conservative governor, recently appointed a Bible-thumping Christian homeschooler to lead its board of education.
Now, to be fair, there are a lot of advantages to being homeschooled, such as more personal attention, but when you allow Christians families to homeschool, Christian families who think that math and science undermine their faith, and so they refuse to teach their children these things, then you end up with children who grow up having learned almost nothing to succeed, to even compete, in today’s economy.
And if you think this is an isolated case, it’s not. Earlier this year, a young girl from Texas, again, had to prove she was a real person because her parents had never taken her to the doctors, never bothered to get her a birth certificate or social security number, and never enrolled her in school. When she ran away from home she had no identity at all.
Look, as I said, homeschooling isn’t wrong, and it’s not all bad; the extra personal attention can be a good thing, though some question the idea of homeschooled children not being able to socialize in the outside world. But, when you allow parents to homeschool their children, and ignore basic education, because they believe the Bible supersedes all, then you end up with children ill-equipped to ever step outside their parent’s homes.
And sometimes, when they do, they can’t even add and subtract, and they can’t even prove they exist.