Monday, April 20, 2009

10 years later ... Columbine caused increase in home schooling

April 20, 1999, was like any other home school day as my two children and I studied math, history, science, and other subjects. I cannot remember exactly how the news of Columbine reached us ... it may have been another home school mom calling to alert me to turn on the TV ... but we became caught up in a tragedy that was occurring in the public school system that would affect all of America.

As one of the go-to people in the local home school group's leadership, I had fielded dozens of phone calls for years from parents who were thinking of home schooling their children, who were home schooling but had problems, who had questions about Virginia law concerning home education, and questions about Augusta County, Staunton, and Waynesboro's home education laws.

The Columbine tragedy caused my phone to ring off the hook as parents who were afraid of a situation they felt was out of their control decided to pull their kids from public schools and educate them at home. I spent hours explaining the law, discussing various curricula and directing them to the internet to research the many programs available, talking about extracurricular activities, and other concerns.

In the 16 years I spent teaching my kids at home, Columbine was by far the cause of the most phone calls and, in my opinion, the cause of one of the largest migrations from public schools to home schools.

Ten years later, Columbine is remembered. It was a sad but random act of violence that will be remembered along with the Virginia Tech massacre and other senseless acts that we have no control over but that occur in any society.

On this sad anniversary, may we never forget those young people who were lost that day....

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