Homeschooling Violence? – Questioning the Pearls

Homeschooling Violence? – Questioning the Pearls February 4, 2018

This question to the Pearls of No Greater Joy on problems with grandparents who object to homeschooling seems like another fake Pearl letter with an over the top overreaction of a response.

First the Letter labeled ‘Wolf in Grandma’s Clothing’ that I would label ‘Fake Fake Fake’:

Advice? Advice on a fake letter. How about the Pearls stop coming up with the most ridiculous fear-mongering scenarios and stop trying to pass them off as legitimate correspondence.

Parent’s educational choices for their children should be up to the parent, not grandparents, but at the same time it’s pretty normal for a grandparents to have opinions It’s not the end of the world and I seriously doubt many grandparents are threatening violence. Bonus fear mongering.

When trying to control your followers always invoke the ridiculous threat of CPS and then follow that with urges to irresponsibly run off and start again. Not very mature.

Would it not be better just to simply talk to the family and hash it out like adults? Why is it so hard for adults to talk like adults with each other to problem solve in QF?


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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • IM

    As someone that has seen CPS in action, they usually keep the family together and encourage therapy. Being removed is a last resort.

    As always, you must protect the children from the horrors of public school. They may learn about the reproductive system.

    Bonus points for the subtle misogny. “.. if the dad says “move”, you move.” it’s nice to know that starting a new life is just that easy.

    I know I’m late, but my condolences, Suzanne.

  • Mel

    Ditto for what IM says. Removal of children from a home is a last, last resort for CPS especially for things that can be remedied through education and connection to resources like neglect. The reason Pearl says to be ready to run isn’t about home schooling; it’s about beating your child.

    Let’s say my inlaws decided to call CPS on a made-up issue like “Mel is home-schooling Spawn badly!”. First – that’s not even a complaint that CPS would check because home schooling is not regulated in my state. Second, families would be counseled to get their regulations updated if they lived in a state that did regulate homeschooling for years before CPS would take any serious action.

    Let’s say they decided to claim I was using TTUAC methods on Spawn. CPS would need to examine my son – which would take a matter of minutes because I don’t whip my baby with plumbing lines. I might be interviewed while the social worker watches to see how responsive I am to my kid. . I could present supporting evidence from the 30,000 medical professionals who see Spawn on a regular basis – and I’d mention that my inlaws are a bit cray-cray.

    Compare that to what CPS would have discovered from meeting the Pearl family and examining their kids at the same age…..

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    …and the Pearls have run from CPS…

  • AFo

    I suppose it’s never occurred to the Pearls that there are many reasons people might object to homeschooling besides just being part of the Big Bad Secular World out to persecute the poor, humble, homeschooling parents. Maybe the house itself is not a great environment for academics. Maybe the mom in this scenario is not qualified to teach children. Maybe the grandparents are worried about their grandchild being socially isolated. Maybe there is, in fact, suspected abuse happening. Whatever the reason, it’s not this vast conspiracy to remove the children from her “Christian” parents and brainwash her into becoming a communist heathen. How do people manage to take the Pearls seriously when this is the kind of response they get?

  • lady_black

    If my husband told me we were suddenly moving, and to start packing immediately, he had better give me a damned good reason. I’ve seen too many true crime movies with that featured prominently. And the wife never questions what her husband is on about. What do you mean, MOVE? For what reason?

  • There was concern at my old church that neighbors would call children’s services because we kids were working at the church. (A few did call the police.) They were able to get out of things, though. (They likely said we were volunteers.)

  • Also, in public school, kids will be told about ebil-ution, and learn to not follow fundamentalist sex rules! They will learn about all that tolerance which fundies think is an attack against RTC who believe Jesus is the Only Way to God. Oh noes, teh libruls are after our kids!

    My old church even opposed college, because they thought it was an atheist-producing machine. They thought we would become sexually promiscuous binge-drinkers, and hurt our Good, Christian Families when we called to tell them we no longer believed as they did. (See the manipulation?)

  • Iain Lovejoy

    I think you have a bot: this is a copy from an earlier post.

  • SAO

    If your parents note red flags in your marriage and your husband’s response is to move, my advice, knowing nothing more about the situation, is you should leave your husband and move back in with your parents, except if your parents are controlling extremists and your husband is a normal guy.

    Normal guys can resolve disagreements in a rational manner.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    It seems to me that the purpose of the “question” is precisely making parents afraid of their extended family, and encouraging isolation from them, as well as the usual efforts to instil fear of child protection services. It is grandparents etc who will most often raise the alarm or recognise that what is going on with kids is not normal, if the parents are going off the rails.

  • lisu

    CPS are also far more likely to take babies than older kids, because babies can be placed a lot easier.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    Not true. At least not at the jurisdiction I worked at. That is a lie that is prevalent in certain Christian circles.

  • Anonyme

    Why would the Pearls and their ilk present facts when there is plenty of opportunity to rule the followers through fear?
    Also, I love how easy they make running away (sorry, “moving”…) from the “threat” of CPS sound.

  • lisu

    It is true here (not America). Older kids would be going straight into group homes, so they’re never removed unless their lives are at risk. I’ve had extensive discussions with multiple people who are deeply involved with the foster care system about how hard it is to get even older kids in danger removed.

    Babies are probably removed at the appropriate rate. Older children aren’t removed even when they should be.

  • Saraquill

    “Parents should put the welfare of their children first.”

    Agreed. The first step is ignoring the Pearls’ advice.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    I cannot speak to other countries. That is unfortunate.

  • gimpi1

    Where are you from?

  • lisu

    Sorry, I don’t give out my location on the Internet. I prefer to be free to discuss things that I don’t want traced back to me.

  • lisu

    The effectiveness of CPS varies a lot between countries. There are certainly other things that are better here than in America. We have much better oversight of homeschooling, and I think better support for vulnerable youth in the school system. I also suspect that it’s a lot harder to get babies removed from abusive Christian parents in America than it is here.

    Some years ago, I contacted the police after a family member threatened to kill me. I was a minor at the time. I was informed that my options were running away or going back. I chose the former. My recent experience with my cousin’s children and CPS showed me that the system hasn’t really improved for teenagers since then, as they were basically given the same options.

  • Poster Girl

    That was my take on it, too.

  • Anonyme

    “OK, where did you hide the body?”

  • ChevalBlanc

    CPS doesn’t spirit children away just because the parents kind of suck at homeschooling. Heck. They’ll even let them teach a pack of lies in place of biology. CPS might take an interest if the parents are taking the Pearl’s disciplinary advice to heart, though. Even then, they probably won’t remove the children until the abuse is clearly life-threatening (unfortunately).

    A friend of mine is a social worker. She used to be the person that went on these types of calls. She now works with disabled adults because she couldn’t take it anymore. The kids she saw lived in conditions most of us cannot even imagine, but her hands were more or less tied until the kid ended up in the hospital (or worse).

  • Nea

    Nice of Debi to admit that Mikey was running from something in that ill-advised, diasterous move to TN.

  • Nea

    Mikey also preaches to remove wives from living near their family and limit contact — probably because grandparents are the first line of the wife’s defense against gaslighting and abuse, and their route out if they run. This is more of the same.

  • Cynthia

    When I worked for a child protection agency in Canada 17 years ago, babies were more likely to be taken into care instead of just being under supervision of the agency while living at home, and there would also be a push to terminate parental rights more quickly – temporary orders could only be made for a maximum of one year instead of two years with older children.

    Babies were seen as more vulnerable to harm than older children, and less likely to suffer serious harm from being separated from parents, and easier to place for adoption and to be more likely to thrive in a new family.

    That said, homeschool families usually fly under the radar and are not likely to have CPS involvement unless things truly fall apart. Low income families had a disproportionate rate of involvement, as did some minorities.

  • The Bofa on the Sofa

    Yep. Homeschooling in itself is legal and would never warrant a follow-up from CPS upon a complaint. If the only complaint is that the parents are homeschooling, nothing will come of it.

    If there are specific accusations of an unsafe environment, CPS will absolutely look into, but it has to be a real unsafe environment. Not homeschooling, not because the parents fed their kid formula. But when the kid comes to school on a day where the temperature is below zero not wearing a coat, that’s a different story. And this happens. Far more than you can imagine.

    CPS doesn’t have the time to chase down silliness. They have to focus on real problems.

  • Raging Bee

    Parents going to jail in child-custody and child-welfare disputes? I call bullshit on that alone.

  • The Bofa on the Sofa

    I’ve heard of judges writing warrants for contempt on parents who fail to comply with court orders in child-welfare cases. But that is extreme.

  • Raging Bee

    Well, yeah, failing to comply with any kind of court order can get you locked up.

  • Julia Childress

    People who are attracted to the Pearls are the same people who would be prey for a cult: easily manipulated, insecure and looking for a stronger “other” who can spell out the rules and reassure you that if you just follow the rules, you will be okay. Often people will be vulnerable when they are going through some sort of life change like leaving home for the first time, becoming a parent and being afraid that you don’t know enough to do it “right”, getting out of a bad marriage or relationship. The Duggars got involved with Gothard after losing a baby, and being told by a Christian doctor that it was their fault. In their state of emotional vulnerability they were easy pickins for someone like Gothard. Of course, the Pearls employ many of the methods used by cult leaders but they are so obvious in their toxicity that us normal folk can see right through them. However, for the weak-willed and vulnerable, they can seem like a godsend.

  • Nea

    To be fair, that’s exactly how they did it. More or less snuck away in the middle of the night after what I think was the third CPS visitation and moved to another state with no plan, no money, and no job. Debi ended up begging for food and using animal feed for the kids.

  • Lily Erickson

    “There are good jobs waiting, rental houses at a fair price”
    What country is this? Because in THIS world unemployment is at record lows (meaning most of those good jobs are taken) and many of the places where there ARE good jobs have massive affordable housing crises.

  • ChevalBlanc

    My friend’s frustration was that there was so little she could do. Without evidence of extreme physical and/or sexual abuse, or outright starvation, the kid wasn’t getting out of there. In theory, teaching parents to do a better job sounds great, but it usually doesn’t work.

    I remember her telling me about one family that had a rotting deer carcass on the roof of their rusted trailer. While not technically child abuse, the mental image kind of sums up what she was up against.

    Sadly, a lot of time the foster homes are worse. I know some people that foster because they sincerely want to help kids, but in too many cases the foster parents just want the $.

  • Unless you matriculated to one of the “approved” schools, where all the instructors were as zealous as your pastor, you’d never hear a “libtard” idea and you could find a nice Christian boy or girl to marry, ensuring the next generation of fundy clones.

  • SAO

    Few of those approved colleges are accredited, meaning the diploma might not count as a college diploma with many places.

  • A fact that most of them seemed to take pride in.