NLQ Question of the Week: What is so Threatening About Public School?

NLQ Question of the Week: What is so Threatening About Public School? June 30, 2016

QuestionoftheweekThis is a new series we have started running on Thursdays. Examining some of the questions involving long held Quiverfull theology and life.

Between many of the long time Quiverfull cultural enforcers we’ve seen public school and private school, even religious based private schools spoken of as ‘sin factories’ or ‘government babysitters’. What do you think drives the hatred and fear of anything that is not homeschooling in the Quiverfull community?

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Allison the Great

    1. It teaches the kids critical thinking, and unapproved ideas.
    2. The kids meet people who are outside of the cult.
    3. If the kids leave the home, it frees the woman up to leave the home as well.

  • Nea

    What Allison said. The children meet people — and therefore ideas and experiences — outside the family cult.

  • B.E. Miller

    Because the kids might meet non-Christian kids, or kids from progressive Christian families, who are happy, and have parents who don’t beat them, and feed them proper lunches, instead of cat food and feed corn.

    Also, it would be harder for fundies to abuse their kids when the kids go to public school, where teachers, staff, and the other kids might see bruises. Oh heck, the staff would probably complain about a kid being sent to school with cat food for lunch.

  • Mirella222

    There are so many reasons for the CPM to hate public school….
    1. The kids could learn all sorts of “worldly” things (evolution is real, the planet is billions of years old, etc).
    2. The kids could meet and come to like all sorts of people that the parents wouldn’t approve of (kids from different religions, LGBT kids, etc), and it’s harder to hate people when you actually know them, instead of imagining them as a nameless, faceless, evil mob.
    3. The girls in particular might get it into their heads that they are actual human beings and can make their own choices, rather than being indoctrinated from birth to one day be an obedient wife to a petty tyrant.
    4. If the parents are “training” their kids with plumbing line or other implements and are leaving marks, the teachers will have to report them to CPS, which intrudes on the parents ability to treat their child however they want
    5. You can’t effectively use the older girls to be surrogate mothers to their younger siblings if they are away at school for 6+ hours per day
    6. If they are in an area with comprehensive sex ed, then the kids will learn all about contraceptives and sexuality, which might make them think it is okay to use birth control or to have CPM-unapproved sex
    7. Being away from the family for 6+ hours per day will allow the children to grow into individuals, and this removes the parents’ ability to control them
    8. The friends they make in school may serve as a support network if they are ever trying to get away from their family in their teen years

  • Brennan

    I spent thirteen years in the horrible guv’mint schools. In high school, one of my top three most influential teachers happened to be a lesbian. (I didn’t know this at the time, although there were rumors among the students.) She knew that I was religious. She probably also knew I was queer, even though I was deep in denial at that time. She gave me a copy of “The Poisonwood Bible,” which is about a spiritually abusive missionary, his wife, and his four daughters. It rode around in my backpack for four months before I got up the guts to read it cover to cover. It wasn’t personally relevant to me (my family is socially liberal and not abusive), but it did open my eyes to the ways in which racism and sexism can be enabled and encouraged in the name of Christianity–and in a much more personal way than studying it in a history book. When college rolled around and the local evangelical club came recruiting, I was much more skeptical than I otherwise would have been. When a professor introduced me to the poetry of Andrea Gibson, I was much more open to her criticisms of the establishment and much more ready to see spirituality in her liberalism. Things sort of snowballed from there.

  • SAO

    Teachers are authority figures, for young kids often equal to parents. Teens often consider teachers a superior authority. In public schools, the teachers can be any religion (or none), any sexual orientation, any political persuasion and they often care more about scientific fact than CPM myth.

    Further, the classroom full of other kids is a big influence, too. If the teacher discusses, say dinosaurs (a favorite topic in early elementary school) and the fundamentalist kid raises his hand and says the teacher is wrong, the rest of the kids will believe the teacher, not the one, lone kid, who will need to have a very strong will to maintain his conviction in the face of a classroom of people sure he’s wrong.

    In short, you have a rival authority who will almost certainly contradict what the CPM parents say.

  • Poster Girl

    As a public school teacher, it’s my responsibility to ensure that ALL of my students are treated with respect and given full access to the curriculum. That means that I can’t tolerate anti-gay speech and actions in my classroom. It means that students can’t couch bigotry in religious language and write it off that way. I means that I don’t lead prayers in my classroom. It means that fundie students don’t have unfettered access to their classmates for proselytizing purposes– we’re in school to learn.

    And the curriculum we teach is at least in theory supposed to be unbiased. In truth it IS biased, but TOWARD the right-wing conservative world view, not against. (Kids in elementary school are still taught that Christopher Columbus was basically a good guy!) But we can’t teach lies such as the US was founded as a Christian nation, or that slaves were better off here than never having been captured because they got exposed to Christianity, or that the founding fathers were Christians. And the biology classes teach evolution and genetics, and the math classes teach set theory. We’re allowed to perform religious music in music classes, at least at the high school level, but only if it meets high musical and educational standards– no CCM or Baptist hymns pass muster.

    Oh, and then there’s age-appropriate sex ed. Elementary school children are taught that their bodies belong to them and to tell a trusted adult if someone tries to breach that principle. Upper elementary school children are taught the correct anatomical names for body parts. Middle school children are taught the definitions of gay, lesbian, transgender, and heterosexual. And high school students, at least in my state, are taught how to use a condom correctly and the effectiveness rates of various methods of contraception. Mind-blowing stuff, I know. And in more conservative states, the sex ed is basically what they’d get at their fundie churches anyway: motivational speakers who come in and tell the kids that if they have sex they’ll be like a chewed-up piece of gum or a used piece of tape.

  • pl1224

    As far as the Quiverfull/CP types are concerned, children educated in public–or as the patriarchy types like to say, “government” schools–are learning the knowledge and culture valued by “them”, whereas Quiverfull homeschooling indoctrinates children in the knowldege and culture valued by “us”. Anyone not ascribing to the dictates of Quiverfull/CP mode of thinking is the enemy, the alien, is “them”.

  • Because, public schools teach kids. They get a little knowledge, they might start thinking. If they start thinking, they’ll start asking questions. If they ask the “wrong” questions, they’ll realize that fundamentalists are full of manure and walk (or run) away as soon as possible. No point in pumping out little godly clones if they’re not going to stay that way; which they won’t if you don’t keep them ignorant.

  • Leesha

    To be fair, there are a lot of problems with our public schools…problems that are problems for so many students, far beyond those being raised in fundamentalism. American students don’t exactly excel anymore when compared with students around the country. There are plenty of reasons to opt out, and in my opinion, they are primarily academic. But I agree that QF/Fundamental families tend to opt out due to fear, which is unfortunate. There are many wonderful reasons to homeschool, and fear need not be one of them. .