PHC intern writing scoops for USA Today

Patrick Henry College is known for its internships. One of our journalism students, Heather Terwilliger, scored an internship with USA TODAY. That is huge in itself, a plum opportunity and getting it was a great accomplishment for Heather. But her accomplishments on the job were so great that the paper started publishing her stories! With a byline! That almost never happens with an intern. Instead of making her fetch coffee and do the filing, the editors had her write feature stories that were being read by their 3 million readers. That’s impressive and a tribute to Heather and to her college that gave her such a good education and that boasts such gifted students. I was actually planning to blog about that, but then Heather outdid herself.

Because of her homeschool connections, Heather knew about the California court ruling and its significance in banning homeschooling before anyone else in her vast newsroom. She pitched the story to her editors. Drawing on her contacts, she wrote with staff reporter Greg Toppo the story, scooping everyone else. (You will notice some details that did not show up anywhere else.)

But this is the killer: HEATHER TERWILLIGER IS ONE OF THOSE HOMESCHOOLED KIDS FROM CALIFORNIA that the court thinks are so educationally disadvantaged!

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • PeteS

    From what I can tell and what you say, the Lord has blessed Heather with some wonderful gifts that homeschooling (as well as PHC) helped to nurture and bring out.

    After reading the article, it looks like another example of how government sees an isolated problem and thinks it has to fix the problem for everyone, even though not everyone has the problem. I just spoke to some people a couple of weeks ago whose 1st grade grandson was suspended from his school for kissing a girl on the hand. Again, a one-size-fits-all answer to a problem that probably isn’t even a problem.

    I’m not familiar with California homeschooling laws, or those of any other state for that matter. Are there testing requirements for homeschooled children? I’m suggesting that testing would be a good thing if it isn’t required. But in my thinking, even if a child failed the tests, I don’t think the government should intervene. Rather, suggestions or options could be given to help the parents do better in educating their children. One of those options would be to place the child in a school, whether public or private.

    While I hear of many home-school success stories, I’m sure there are failures out there as well. But finally the father, or single mother if such is the case, is the head of the house and has a responsibility to raise the children in the best way possible. Government needs to let the parents decide what is best unless it is harming the child. Part of the problem is that not everyone’s idea of harm is the same.

  • PeteS

    From what I can tell and what you say, the Lord has blessed Heather with some wonderful gifts that homeschooling (as well as PHC) helped to nurture and bring out.

    After reading the article, it looks like another example of how government sees an isolated problem and thinks it has to fix the problem for everyone, even though not everyone has the problem. I just spoke to some people a couple of weeks ago whose 1st grade grandson was suspended from his school for kissing a girl on the hand. Again, a one-size-fits-all answer to a problem that probably isn’t even a problem.

    I’m not familiar with California homeschooling laws, or those of any other state for that matter. Are there testing requirements for homeschooled children? I’m suggesting that testing would be a good thing if it isn’t required. But in my thinking, even if a child failed the tests, I don’t think the government should intervene. Rather, suggestions or options could be given to help the parents do better in educating their children. One of those options would be to place the child in a school, whether public or private.

    While I hear of many home-school success stories, I’m sure there are failures out there as well. But finally the father, or single mother if such is the case, is the head of the house and has a responsibility to raise the children in the best way possible. Government needs to let the parents decide what is best unless it is harming the child. Part of the problem is that not everyone’s idea of harm is the same.

  • http://www.hempelstudios.com Sarah in Maryland

    Wow! This is fantastic. People really have no idea what wonderful things young people are capable of. We underestimate them so much in our culture. Given a challenge and the right tools, I think that many young people can rise to the occasion. Or, in this case, surpass it!

  • http://www.hempelstudios.com Sarah in Maryland

    Wow! This is fantastic. People really have no idea what wonderful things young people are capable of. We underestimate them so much in our culture. Given a challenge and the right tools, I think that many young people can rise to the occasion. Or, in this case, surpass it!

  • Kirk

    What I find to be particularly amazing is that there are no absurd diagrams or charts. Imagine, a USA Today article with substance!

  • Kirk

    What I find to be particularly amazing is that there are no absurd diagrams or charts. Imagine, a USA Today article with substance!

  • Eric

    Defiantly the best hard news reporting of this event I have read.

    It is clear that California home schoolers have been operating in a loop hole of non-enforcement of the states education laws. It is good that the Guvenator will take up their cause to change California law.

  • Eric

    Defiantly the best hard news reporting of this event I have read.

    It is clear that California home schoolers have been operating in a loop hole of non-enforcement of the states education laws. It is good that the Guvenator will take up their cause to change California law.

  • Julie Voss

    Operating in a loop hole has not been such a bad thing.
    Bravo Heather!

  • Julie Voss

    Operating in a loop hole has not been such a bad thing.
    Bravo Heather!

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  • The Jones

    Props Heather. Major Props. I’m looking for your name in USA Today!

  • The Jones

    Props Heather. Major Props. I’m looking for your name in USA Today!


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