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‘Til School Do Us Part

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‘Til School Do Us Part

By Linda Dobson

BaseballBoys schoolMy younger son was at bat in a local Little League game one evening when one of quite a few hard, errant pitches struck him on the head, including his eye. Yes, he was wearing a helmet. He fell to the ground. I don’t know how long it was that the entire park fell silent, waiting for him to get up, move even, but it felt like an eternity. When I felt everyone had waited long enough, I raced down the bleachers to be at his side.

I ordered no one in particular, “Go inside and call an ambulance, hurry!” I held my son’s hand, repeatedly asking him to squeeze it if he heard me. By now the coaches were in gear, asking parents to move cars to clear a path for the ambulance that was on its way. Another mom joined me to explain that she would drive my car to the hospital so I could ride in the ambulance. At some point, my request for a hand squeeze was answered, and I told my son not to move, and that help was on the way.

If at some point a coach had told me it was against the rules for a mother to be on the field, I would have told him where he could stick his rules. Every mother I personally know would do the exact same thing. Mother’s instinct to protect offspring exists throughout the animal kingdom as one of the most powerful forces on earth.

Mom Instincts and School Laws Clash

This explains another mother’s response when, “As she walked down her Perry County driveway, other kids were standing over the kindergartner’s [her son’s] assigned seat, yelling that Xander was slumped over.” According to a PennLive.com article by Sara Ganim:

“Help, he’s not moving,” she recalled during a recent court hearing. “We can’t wake him up.”
So she ran to the bus, up the steps and to the landing. The driver told her she couldn’t get on the bus. It’s against the law.

Keener kept going. “My focus was on my son,” she told a judge.

What happened on that bus Dec. 15 has earned Keener a misdemeanor charge of unlawfully entering a school bus. She’s now awaiting trial in Perry County Court.

Charged with unlawfully entering a school bus, the mom faces “a third-degree misdemeanor — an offense that [can] lead to jail for a year, and a $2,500 fine.” The school bus company refutes the mom’s story and alleges she didn’t give the bus driver enough time to react.

One reader who responded to my post of this story on Parent at the Helm’s Facebook page shared:

“The law is ludicrous. Will they also make it illegal for a parent to enter a school classroom to pick up their child? If the state requires that a child be in school (or otherwise accounted for) then the parents should have the right to be there too. I’m disturbed that other parents have been informed of the law upon entering the bus and actually turned around and got off. So there’s a law on the books that separates a parent from their child and folks just nodded their heads and walked away? People in this country need to wake up and smell the coffee burning. Our rights as parents have been infringed upon enough.

“Edmund Burke said ‘All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.’ Sadly, I believe that’s what has happened here.”

Another perspective was also shared:

 My husband was a school bus driver for a while, which gives me a different viewpoint on this. Unfortunately, I think this law is necessary to help bus drivers protect kids. BUT, as with all laws, a big helping of common sense should be used. It sounds to me like everyone (including the mom) did what they should have done in this case. Hopefully the judge/jury will too (let her go). What I don’t understand is why it has come to word of mouth. They should have a camera on the bus.

‘Til School Do Us Part

Mom’s instinct to protect offspring roars out of the first response. And so does disbelief that your child’s school attendance includes ignoring that instinct, disbelief that schools would demand such a denial from the very parents they claim to want to “engage” in their activities. Such laws are merely indicators of a silent but deadly goal of compulsory school attendance – replace parental influence with the social influence du jour.

See also “Homeschooling Myth 2: Homeschooling Takes Place In Isolation at Home

In the second response we see the incident through empathy with those in charge of the children’s general safety. This reveals what I recently heard termed about America as suffering “a catastrophic and decadent decline.” It indicates that society-at-large has created such an ugly environment that school personnel need to view all adults – including parents – as potential threats to children’s well being. School children now literally grow up under surveillance, even during what used to be an innocuous bus ride to school.

Cameras on buses and laws against adults entering a school bus indicate that sending children to compulsory school attendance requires the potential of those children being placed in harm’s way. Compulsory school attendance means parents get short shrift while the state takes over.

They are your children – ’til school do you part.

If you’re thinking about leaving public school behind to enjoy learning with your children through homeschooling, there’s still time to read this book to help you get started; The First Year of Homeschooling Your Child: Your Complete Guide to Getting Off to the Right Start by Linda Dobson.
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Reader Feedback

10 Responses to “‘Til School Do Us Part”

  1. Cathy Earle says:

    This isn't as bad as the school bus incident, but I knew a mom who was told that, if she thought her son was too sick to go to school, she had to bring him to school anyway so the school nurse could check him out and made the decision.

    What???? Get a sick child up out of bed, presumably get him dressed, bring him into school to be checked by a school nurse?

    The reason for this entirely UNreasonable order was that her son had missed too many days that school year. The reason he had missed so much was that he had had chicken pox. He was a straight- A student, but the family's last name was Hispanic, and their address was from the "poor side" of town. I'm convinced that this family would not be treated the same way if they lived in a huge house in a wealthy community.

    BTW, because she knew us homeschoolers, the mom knew that she had the right to pull her son from school, so she told the school administrators and district personnel that she would NOT be following that rule, and if they made any more trouble for her, she'd homeschool her kid. The school district buckled. Just one of hundreds of examples of homeschooling making life better for those who go to school!

    • grandma_linda says:

      I'm glad her knowledge of an alternative approach to which it was her right to turn got her and her family some peace.

  2. In our culture, most mother's override their instinct and no longer care to protect their children from the multitude of abuses done to youth in schools, but she instead cares to cater to the school's rules and whims. My instinct to protect my son is fierce, and he is 17. I am thankful everyday that we are an unschooling family and that I can follow my instincts and he can be a free and joyful child!

    • grandma_linda says:

      Thank you for being here and sharing your story, Laurie. The more we speak out about it, the more we can help other families discover the joy.

  3. Lisa says:

    I am so not sure about that rule! I would be on that bus in a flash and would not be listening to any rules!!! Gosh what ever happen to common sense and the understanding that something was wrong with that boy?

    Thanks for sharing the story about til school do us part.

    Cheers
    Lisa

    • grandma_linda says:

      Hi, Lisa, I think parents don't have a clue as to what they give up when they send children to school. Common sense isn't on the curriculum. 🙁

  4. tres edu says:

    In brief: Wow! I am a parent and public school employee and love what I've read here so far. I'm sure you have already, but if not, read anything and everything by John Taylor Gatto. And check out my blog http://3rseduc.blogspot.com

    • grandma_linda says:

      Hi, I'm glad you found Parent at the Helm! I checked out your blog; looks like we're on the same page about much of what's happening to the school system. John is a long time friend – we did conferences together back in "the old days." 🙂 Look forward to seeing you frequently!

  5. Erin says:

    That's insane. That mother should not have to go through a hearing. And I need to know if her son was okay.

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