No longer is it a right of passage fist fight in the playground. Kids today are armed with various weapons and fueled by the leftist school administrations
An expert on education is warning of the huge problem of violence in public and even private schools.
It’s one of the main reasons why people choose to homeschool their children, writes Steven Duvall, who teaches PhD candidates at Pittsburg State University in Kansas how to become school psychologists.
Duvall’s column was published by the Homeschool Legal Defense Association as part of a series of responses to claims by Professor Elizabeth Bartholet that homeschooling essentially should be banned.
Bartholet contended in an article published by Harvard Magazine that students “are safer” in public school.
Not necessarily, insisted Duvall.
- “During my 40 years in the field of school psychology, I’ve observed a significant shift in parents’ primary reasons for homeschooling. Although years ago, many parents used to rank religious reasons at the top of their motivations for homeschooling their children, they now first list their safety concerns for their children in traditional schools, especially public schools. The data show parents are right to be concerned,”
- “Parents are justified in their concerns about school safety because, in 2015–16 (the most recent school year for which NCES data are available), at least 1.4 million crimes occurred in the nation’s public schools. Weapons were not involved during 257,000 threats of physical attack; 567,000 actual attacks; and 9,500 robberies. But, appallingly, weapons were used during 5,300 attacks or fights; 18,300 threats of violence; and 600 robberies. During that same year, 1,100 rapes or attempted rapes and 6,100 sexual assaults occurred in schools.”
In his heavily footnoted commentary, he pointed out that many nonviolent crimes were also committed in schools during 2015 to 2016.
- “These incidents involved approximately 350,400 students having firearms or explosive devices and 10,500 students with knives or sharp objects in their possession. Additionally, 166,000 crimes involving theft, 31,600 involving vandalism, and 17,800 involving possession of alcohol occurred – there were also 82,200 incidents related to the distribution, possession, or use of illegal drugs and 15,100 incidents with prescription drugs.
- “Taken together, the number of violent and nonviolent crimes listed above seems excessive, but these numbers are actually conservative estimates because school officials underreport crimes to the police about one-third of the time. Consequently, the statistics lend credence to the notion that many public schools are, indeed, unsafe environments for school children.”
Then there’s bullying.
- “Roughly 20 percent of students attending public and private schools (i.e., 11.2 million of 55.9 million students in the U.S.) reported being badly treated by other students in a variety of ways. For example, in 2017, 3.2 million students reported being made fun of, called names, or insulted, while the same number of students were the subject of rumors. Additionally, almost one million were threatened with harm, while 1.3 million said they were pushed, shoved, tripped, or spit on. About 466,000 students reported that others tried to make them do things they did not want to do, and roughly 1.3 million students indicated that they were purposely excluded from activities. Finally, 348,000 students reported having their property purposely destroyed,”
He said Bartholet’s article “leaves readers with the notion that homeschooling must be banned—or at least severely restricted—to protect millions of children from child abuse, weak or non-existent academic instruction, or religious-oriented instruction that is not mainstream.”
But it’s really safety that is driving parents’ decisions, he said.
- “Long before I began directing school psychology training programs at the university level, I learned of families who were homeschooling in the districts where I worked as a public school psychologist. At the time, having no personal interaction with these families, homeschooling seemed to me to be nothing more than a peculiar way for parents to provide religious instruction unavailable through public schools for their children.”
But he said his views soon changed.
- “Instead of banning homeschooling … significantly reducing or eliminating the safety concerns that compel most parents to homeschool in the first place would likely be a better, more sensible place to begin. In the meantime, no one should be surprised that increasingly greater numbers of families choose the safety of their own homes in which to educate their children.”