The Nation's Pulse

Home Schoolin’

Once again, the Washington, D.C. model leaves much to be desired.

By 3.27.08

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"Home schoolin'. It's the best. And goin' outta style."

Uncle Pundit surprised me. But Uncle, you weren't home schooled.

"Sure I was. And so were you."

But I've heard about your going to high school in Nebraska. And even a couple of years of college.

"Doesn't count. I'm talkin' about real schoolin'. The kind that counts for everything. The home."

Gimme an example, Uncle.

"Best example is what they're doin' in D.C. That's the District of Columbia, capital of the U.S. of A. The government is so desperate to get guns off the streets and out of the hands of kids they are actually planning home invasions. Searches without warrants."

Can't be, Uncle. There's a thing in the Constitution about searches and seizures, isn't there?

"Yes, but the District plans to have the heads of households sign a waiver, saying it's okay to come on in and search the place. The cops promise not to file charges about what they may find. If it's a gun, they just take it, no questions asked."

Sounds a little extreme.

"Not the half of it. The lady Police Chief of the place is holding public meetings to trumpet the search plan, and has she been surprised."

'Bout what?

"About who shows up at these meetings. Grandmas! Hardly any men. Grandmas."

Okay. It's well known that women, single-mothers we call them, are the majority raising kids in that town. So, why can't they do the gun-search themselves?

"Good question. It's plain that grandma has lost control of her own place. Junior's got his own stash of whatever he wants, goes where he wants, and shoots what he wants. In a town that's got the strictest gun control laws on the planet."

But where are the guys, the men, the fathers?

"You tell me. Not at the Police Lady's meetings, she complains. And this is what I mean by home schooling. It teaches what cannot be learned in regular schools. It taught me, and you, how to be a person."

But Uncle, we've got all kinds of governmental stuff going on. Think of No Child Left Behind.

"Sure. A federal dole that has transformed teachers into test administrators, twisting kid's arms not to flunk these dipsy tests that decide how much federal money goes to the school -- and to the teachers' salaries. No Child Left Behind means no federal dollars withheld from the school."

Okay. So what's the profit in home schooling?

"The profit? See? There you go. The profit is in raising a society of folks who know what it is to be human. Home schoolin' I'm talking about has nothing to do with reading, writing or 'rithmatic. It has to do with knowing who you are, what you are. All the rest of it, the academic stuff that comes later depends a whole lot on what I call home schoolin'."

I sort of see now.

"Go down one of those streets where the cops would like to barge in and see what Junior's got under the bed. Now and then you'll come across a pile of teddy bears and wilted flowers -- the spot where some kid was gunned down, by mistake or on purpose. And in lots of cases nobody knows yet who did it, or ever will."

Think these warrantless searches will work?

"It's a measure of the desperation of authority."

The answer then, Uncle?

"What I just said. Schoolin'. In a real home. With parents. A man and a woman. Home schoolin'."

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About the Author

Reid Collins is a former CBS and CNN news correspondent.