I haven’t posted for a few weeks and I wasn’t planning to post at all this month. I realised though that my silence right now is perhaps not such a good thing, given some of the things that have been going on in the Pagan Blogosphere. So this post is simply to update why I haven’t been writing lately.
Homeschooling and Lobbying
If you follow me at all on Facebook, then you would already know about this. Last year, just before Christmas and so just before all the schools, various departments and most politicians went off on holidays, my states education department released proposed new education and training regulations. As part of those regulations is an increase in oversight on homeschooling.
Most reading this probably aren’t that interested, so I will keep the explanation short. The changes include things like requiring new homeschool applications to include a learning plan for the entire first year, everyone will undergo random reviews (which compare work done to those learning plans), and the worst the new rule that would require children to stay in school until the application is processed. 28 days or more.
Which is, you know, awesome for those children who are being removed from school because they are unsafe in school from bullying, abuse, assault, sexual assault or neglect. Children suffering physically, emotionally and mentally; children considering suicide. Forced to stay in school for 28 or more days. Parents, having to ask permission to protect their children.
So we’ve been fighting the changes. Don’t get me wrong, if necessary we will comply with any new regulations. We can do plans and reviews (even if they are a waste of time and resources). The main problem, other than the children in danger in school thing, is that the department regulating us – well they hate homeschooling and they are about to be given almost unlimited power over us.
So fighting, lobbying, protesting, petitioning, writing letters to our members of parliament, to newspapers, meeting with politicians and so much more. I’ve been pretty busy and it isn’t going to stop until March at the earliest.
This is why I haven’t been posting here at Patheos and why I don’t plan to post again this month (unless something truly compelling catches my attention).
Fire and Flame
A bit over a week ago my kids were playing in their toddler sisters room when they happened to look out the window and notice something odd about their trampoline. I went out to have a look. Gone. Or not entirely gone, the frame is still there. But the trampoline, which sits right next to my toddlers bedroom wall, right next to where she sleeps – it was lit on fire during the night.
The police took about six hours to respond to my phone call about it and even then they haven’t followed up after that first day. Haven’t returned to take photos or anything.
And of course while all this is happening all that contract stuff with Patheos began. I am sure you’ve read all about the contracts and what they might possibly mean one day maybe. There is some loose and kind of distant connection between Patheos and various US organisations that I know nothing about – because why would I know about them? And there is the possibility that at some point Patheos may edit my posts (after discussing such edits with me), or they may delete my posts or they may censor me in some way (mostly swearing, but also any insults to Patheos or Beliefnet).
And some of the bloggers here at Patheos are kind of upset by these things. And that’s fine. They find the loose connections to be too much. They find the editorial changes to be too much – despite Patheos always having that right anyway. Or they find something else to be too much. And that’s fine, their decision, their moral code they are dealing with.
But me, I don’t care.
Yes, I said that. I don’t bloody care. I can’t bring myself to care about a possibility based on a super loose and distant connection to various US organisations I know nothing about. I can’t bring myself to care that someday they might possibly ask me if they can edit a post of mine. I don’t care that they may delete my post. I don’t care. So I signed the contract and will continue writing here (once February is finished).
I have more important things to deal with than worry about a blogging contract that I can walk away from at any point in time. No one is forcing me to sign anything, no one is forcing me to write at Patheos forever. I choose what I do, when and how. And if Patheos don’t like it – well that’s fine, it’s their house really. They don’t want me to enter the house without first wiping my shoes on the doormat, so be it, their house their rules. If I don’t want to follow their rules, then I should probably not go to their house. It’s quite simple.
And in case anyone is thinking my lack of care somehow equals me supporting various right wing or conservative or fundamentalist organisations, think again. It has nothing to do with those organisations. Consider my perspective here.
Someone lit my kids trampoline on fire, a fire lit right next to the wall where my daughter was sleeping. A leaky overused outside tap is all that stopped her bedroom wall from catching the flames.
Why should I care about a stupid internet contract.