Democrats vote to keep a minority in the shadows
By: Michael R. Shannon
There is an underground society in today’s America. These invisible people pay taxes just like the rest of us, but are ostracized because of their background. The promise of America is denied them. Instead they lead a clannish, insular existence, suspicious of the authorities and on the fringes of mainstream life.
Often driving by some remote area, you may catch a glimpse of them playing soccer on dusty, over–used public fields, far away from well–groomed high school athletic facilities.
But in spite of being marginalized by a judgmental, intolerant society, they never lost hope. They believed in working through the system for justice. And finally, there came a chance to emerge from the shadows — a golden opportunity to finally join the rest of America and enjoy the rights of a full–fledged citizen.
But an 8–7 block vote by Democrats in a Virginia Senate committee defeated the “Tebow” bill and again denied homeschooled children the chance to try out for high school football and other athletic teams.
Sen. Harry B. Blevins (R–Virginia Education Association), a former cog in the education–industrial complex, was personally responsible for the tie–breaking vote that meant homeschooled children would be forced to play ballerina ball for yet another season.
Teacher’s association and Virginia sports league officials voiced two primary reasons for opposing the bill and, in keeping with typical Democrat discourse, both reasons were false. But these people will do or say anything to retain the government monopoly on indoctrinating children.
The first was public school students are subject to more stringent academic requirements than the homeschoolers. I know “football,” “stringent” and “academic” are not three words you normally encounter in the same sentence, but be that as it may, the facts are otherwise.
Homeschooled children are tested by the state every year and must meet set achievement levels. In fact, Progress Report 2009 — a study that surveyed 11,739 homeschooled students tested by 15 independent testing services — found that homeschooled students on the average scored 37 percentile points above public school students on standardized achievement tests.
Once they get to college homeschooled students have a better freshman GPA (3.41) than other freshmen (3.12) and graduate at higher rates.
The second objection was homeschooled students might represent potential discipline problems. This, too, is rich. Granted it was a long time ago, but every team I ever played on had a coach and if the coach didn’t like your attitude you were not a member of the team for long.
Democrats who voted against the bill no doubt wondered why Virginia homeschooled children can’t act like those quaint Amish folks: stay out of the limelight, avoid fossil fuels and make sustainable furniture.
The only bright spot in the entire debate was, for possibly the first time in history, a leader of the Democrat party went on record stating the choices people make have consequences with which they must be prepared to live. Senate Minority Leader Richard Saslaw declared, “Every single parent who chooses to home-school their kid knows what the ground rules are. Parents know that choice, and they know what the ramifications are.”
This will be a real news bulletin to liberal protected groups like Occupy, unwed mothers, illegal aliens, foreclosed homeowners, drug addicts and the homeless.
But Saslaw has not entirely joined the Personal Responsibility Caucus. He also said if the bill passed it would not be the end of demands. “It’s the camel’s nose under the tent,” he claimed. This indicates confusion on Saslaw’s part. Homeschooling advocates weren’t asking for player quotas to be established — the standard liberal Democrat remedy — they only wanted the opportunity to compete.
If the youngster isn’t good enough, he doesn’t make the team. Unless, of course, the coach wants to stash a couple of homeschoolers on the bench to raise the team’s overall GPA.
The education establishment views the homeschooling movement as a mortal threat. If Ma and Pa Kettle spend only $500 per year and produce students who, on the average, outscore public school students supported by nearly $10,000 each year — including money from homeschooling parents — sooner or later taxpayers may start asking pointed questions.
Besides, just because a family buys a few books for their own home the authorities can’t ban them from public libraries. The same principle should apply to high school athletics.
In the last week we’ve seen Democrats all over the country support Sandra Fluke — Queen of the Prophylactic — and her desire to play footsie on the taxpayer dime. It seems only fair that homeschooled children be allowed to play football on the taxpayer’s teams.
Michael R. Shannon is a public relations and advertising consultant with corporate, government and political experience around the globe. He is a dynamic and entertaining keynote speaker. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.