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In an MSNBC opinion column on Friday, columnist Anthea Butler warned that homeschooling is a “plan” for “war on public schools” by evangelicals, which also has racist roots.” inidious”.
Butler began his article by mentioning actor Kirk Cameron’s documentary “The Homeschool Awakening” and how it shows staunch conservatives are planning an assault on public schools.
“‘Public education has become public enemy No. 1,’ says actor Kirk Cameron in a promo for ‘The Homeschool Awakening,’ his documentary slated to hit theaters in June,” she said. , adding, “As Cameron’s quote indicates, this latest conservative evangelical education project is another salvo in the ongoing evangelical war on public schools.”
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“It should come as no surprise that evangelicals, fundamentalists, and other religious conservatives have fought against public education since the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education “, Butler continued, framing this far-right Christian “war” against public schools in a racial light.
She claimed: “The prospect of integrated schools led to the creation of many ‘segregation academies’, private schools designed to keep African American children and unwanted immigrant groups away from white children. But there were another more insidious way around integration: homeschooling.”
Butler linked these alleged racist roots to the modern era of homeschooling through a 1960s homeschooling pioneer, saying, “One of the leading providers of homeschooling was a fundamentalist, Rousas Rushdoony, whose work from the 1960s in establishing Christian day schools became the homeschooling movement.”
As well as being part of this first “insidious way around integration,” she added that Rushdoony “saw homeschooling as a way to stop the government from educating Christian children and preparing them to take their place in a theocratic government”.
She wrote: “Crazy or not, homeschooling materials inspired by Rushdoony’s theology are on sale today for homeschooling parents in America, and many of these materials have reached the parents during the pandemic.”
Butler then fired back at Cameron, saying “Cameron’s documentary promoting homeschooling is not an aberration; it’s part of a larger project to dismantle the public education system in the United States. United.”
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“This dismantling has taken shape over the years in various ways: in segregation academies, in school vouchers, in attempts to dismantle the US Department of Education,” she said.
“Cameron’s documentary continues the long-term goal of American religious conservatives to dismantle the public school system by promoting homeschooling,” she added, and also mentioned that homeschooling is getting worse. is being developed during the pandemic “among parents who wanted to make sure their children were educated and avoided the coronavirus.”
Butler pointed out that indeed people are “now finding homeschooling an attractive alternative,” including “black parents and other diverse groups.” However, “some parents have expressed frustration with the conservative Christian homeschooling materials that are driving the current market.”
Butler concluded his article by acknowledging that homeschooling has “greater appeal now” but that people need to be careful not to get sucked into “conservative Christian networks.”
“Homeschooling may have greater appeal now…but parents who are unaware of existing homeschooling networks run the risk of being drawn into conservative Christian networks and theocratic schooling,” a- she warned, and added that home-schooling proponents like Cameron could completely destroy public schooling.
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“Cameron’s [sic] says people who choose to homeschool are waking up, but the public needs to wake up to the reality that public schools can disappear if people with their extreme beliefs are successful,” she said.