Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Students burned in shop class gone wrong

5 BC students were burned in an accident that should never have happened. The students were working with molten aluminum outside in the snow. Some of the snow melted (of course). According to Donna Freeman of WorkSafeBC, the combination of molten aluminum and water is considered "risky". Students were sprayed with 2000° molten metal; some of the drops were as large as loonies.

The only safety equipment the kids had were goggles and long mitts. They should have had full face masks and aprons.

To make matters worse, school officials dallied for 45 minutes before taking the students for medical treatment. What were they thinking?

If something like this happened in a homeschooling family, there would be an outcry about how dangerous homeschooling is, how education should be left to "qualified" professionals. What kind of training did this teacher have that he would put the kids in a dangerous situation like this, without proper protective gear, and no burn kit on hand, and then not even taking the kids for immediate medical treatment?

Of course, many teachers are more safety-conscious than this one was. But the fact remains that the only way parents can be 100% certain that our children's teachers will be safety-conscious is to be those safety-conscious teachers ourselves.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Homeschooling a cover for abuse?

UK Children's Minister Delyth Morgan speculates, without giving any evidence, that Home schooling 'could be a cover for child abuse and sexual exploitation'.

Of course, there are abusive parents, and some might very well (pretend to) be homeschooling as a way to conceal their evil doings.

However, Morgan fails to consider that pedophiles are also likely to seek out jobs where they can be around children—for example, teaching in the schools. There have been many, many documented cases of school teachers abusing the children entrusted to them, sexually and otherwise.

In addition, abuse by peers is rampant in institutional schooling; while some schools are starting to take this seriously, even the best teachers cannot know everything that goes on when there are twenty or thirty students for each staff member. And of course there are unfortunately some teachers who will blame the victim or tell them to toughen up rather than teaching the bullies to behave themselves.

Morgan's comments obviously won't deter parents from homeschooling if that is what they think is best for their family. As a homeschooling parent, I know that the chance of me abusing my son is zero; I could not say the same for any institutional school.

It defies common sense to claim the odds of being abused by a homeschooling parent are higher than the odds of being abused by any of the many teachers, other school staff, and fellow students. A child will be exposed to many more risky situations in even the best school than with a loving parent at home.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Encourage AARP to keep advertisements

Morality in Media has contacted AARP to protest the presence of an ad for in the January 2009 issue of the AARP Bulletin. MIM's idea of "morality" means that even adults should not be allowed to see sexual images of consenting adults.

If, like me, you support the sexual rights of consenting adults, please write to AARP at 601 E Street NW, Washington, DC 20049, United States, or phone them at 1-888-OUR-AARP (1-888-687-2277).