As I touched on in Monday’s article, public schools are becoming a genuinely terrifying place for traditionally-minded people. From pornographic books to LGBTQ indoctrination and a subtle, not-so-subtle subversion of parental authority, everyday Americans have good reason to distrust modern education. It is, after all, “modern education” that produced boy-girls and girl-boys and Furry children.

But in today’s world, perhaps I need to clear something up: “traditionally-minded” is not code for backward, regressive, and oppressive. “Everyday Americans” are not dinosaurs, freaks, or abusers. We are referring to a group of people and ideas that for all of American—and most of human—history would have been considered perfectly normal, certainly more normal than the people and ideas that make up today’s far left.

But oh, how the times have changed.

In an age of no normalcy at all, it is, in fact, the normal ones who get called abnormal. (Confound ye antiquated fundamentalists who still believe in two genders and Noah’s Ark! You and your “modest,” Doxology-singing, homeschool convention-attending, Darwin-denying children are the bane of modernity—not to mention its laughing stock.) As it turns out, normalcy is deeply subjective. One half of society sees the advent of 100+ genders and pregnant men and sex reassignment as “progress.” The other does not. That side still pines for prayer in public schools and is half afraid of “Harry Potter.”

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All of the mainstream media is aligned against that latter half, bent on proving that they are nescient and uncouth. We are taught to fear that half. They have an exhaustive plan to take back culture,—a counter long march through the institutions, if you will—and (apparently) that’s problematic.

This crowd now encompasses more than just strictly fundamentalist circles. Basically, anyone who questions leftist orthodoxy is grouped in this category. Nevertheless, homeschooling is still the group’s primary “propaganda arm,” and even as Americans are jumping ship on public education en masse, the media has set out to discredit homeschoolers everywhere. Their message is simple: “Sure, modern education might not be perfect. But homeschooling is worse; homeschooling is abusive.”

To this effect, a major American newspaper recently published a ponderous treatise on the “dangers” of homeschooling. The 5,000-word report follows one disgruntled couple’s post-home education recovery and subsequent “revolt.” The tabloid-style report fails to land any serious blow against homeschooling in general, but instead relies on sensationalized besmirching to make one insidious insinuation: because the two subjects of the exposition felt “abused” by homeschooling, all homeschooling must be abusive.

The report does not cite a single statistic or data point. Yet it makes the bold claim: “conservative Christian home-schoolers [have] been undermined by an unmistakable backlash: the desertion and denunciations of the very children they said they were saving.”

But is it really that much of a problem? No. Of course not. In fact, data shows that 90 percent of adult homeschool graduates are happy about being homeschooled. Additionally, with skyrocketing depression rates among young people, there is a widening “well-being gap between home-schoolers and public-school students….”; a study from Harvard revealed that home-schoolers are “healthier” and “happier” than their public school counterparts.

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That does not mean that every homeschool experience will be satisfactory. As Michael Farris, a giant in the homeschool movement, explained, “it is not uncommon for children who grow up in oppressively patriarchal households to reject or at least moderate their parents’ beliefs. However… such families are a minority in the home-schooling movement and are often considered extreme even by other conservative Christians.”

“I view this as the fringe of the fringe,” he told The Washington Post. “And every kid that I know that has lashed out at home schooling came out of this.”

So, in that case, is the media simply blowing off steam? Why the infatuation with disgruntled homeschoolers?

The answer is, of course, that this is a desperate attempt to check the ongoing exodus from public education. The unspoken ultimatum for parents is: “Even if you only believe in two genders, you should be more skeptical of parents who still teach their kids about Adam and Eve.” As Joy Pullmann put it, the left is all for chopping your kids’ breasts off and carving fake penises out of their legs, “while also adopting a horrified pose over some Christians somewhere allegedly spanking their kids.” They want you to fear the latter so much that you stay in a system where the former is encouraged.

It’s a battle between two competing ideas of normalcy. 

But do not listen to the media. Do not let the testimonies of two malcontent dissenters keep you from doing what is best for your kids.

If you are terrified of today’s public schools, you are not backward or antiquated or any of the other terms the left labels you with.

You are simply normal.

Jakob Fay is a staff writer for the Convention of States.

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