by Alex Newman
Well that was embarrassing! A push to ban home education by a fringe anti-Christian bigot at Harvard Law School backfired in spectacular fashion in recent days. It got so bad that Harvard Magazine quickly locked down the public comments section after every single comment ridiculed and debunked the article peddling the attack on homeschooling. Oops!
As The Newman Report documented last month, a pair of anti-family tyrants are plotting an anti-homeschooling summit this summer at Harvard. Law Professor James Dwyer of William and Mary College specializes in trying to undermine parental rights, while Harvard Law Professor Elizabeth Bartholet is taking a page out of National Socialist Adolf Hitler’s playbook by pushing for a “presumptive ban” on home education.
In a bizarre diatribe by Erin O’Donnell at Harvard Magazine about the supposed “risks” of homeschooling that just went online, Bartholet’s dishonesty and totalitarian fantasies were regurgitated uncritically. Basically, according to the Bartholet, home education “violates children’s right” to a “meaningful education” and “their right to be protected from potential child abuse.”
Of course, in the real world, homeschooled children score far better on every academic indicator — usually around 30 percentile points higher than victims of government schools, on the government’s own standardized academic tests. They are also better socialized, and far less likely to be abused than government-“educated” children.
Next, borrowing totalitarian language from anti-Christian communist John Dewey, Bartholet claims that homeschooling may keep children from “contributing positively to a democratic society.” But again, in the real world, homeschoolers contribute far more to society than the victims of government schools. That is true in business, politics, law, academia, science, and more.
Finally, Bartholet goes on to suggest — falsely — that virtually all homeschool families are conservative Christians, many of whom “question science and promote female subservience and white supremacy.” Seriously. Apparently this is all a threat to “U.S. democracy” (perhaps she should read the Federalist Papers). The nutty professor then suggested that the remedy was to forcibly “expose” all children to “community values,” by which she means her values of the state uber alles.
As soon as the poorly written and even more poorly supported attack was published, a deluge of comments began pouring in. Most of them came from liberal and irreligious commentators who support homeschooling. All nine expressed strong disagreement. By the end of the day, it was clear that the public was blasting holes in the lies peddled by Bartholet and the shoddy “reporting” of Harvard Magazine. And so, the comment section was closed.
“This article is sad in its total inaccuracy,” opined Kim Cheney Wayman, an atheist homeschooler and the first person to comment. Next, Larissa, who said she was a public-school educator, wrote that Harvard Magazine’s piece was “by far, the most vapid and poorly researched article I’ve ever read.” TJ then blasted Bartholet for intolerance and “attacking a minority group.” Cait Blakey wrote: “This article and others like it stun me and show a true lack of understanding of what homeschooling is.” David Shellenberger added: “Government school-prisons are the worst means of education. They should be abolished and a free market achieved.” Go read them yourself.
Obviously Harvard Magazine and Bartholet were not amused with all this democratic free expression of “community values.” The Newman Report left messages left for both seeking comment, and to find out whether the comment section was closed down only to stop more people from exposing the dishonesty. Comments sections on other articles remain open even months after publication. Nobody responded to the inquiries by press time.
No matter. The next day, the relentless exposing of Bartholet’s totalitarian vision continued in other media. “Clearly, O’Donnell and Professor Bartholet desire that the governmental agenda to waste time and money be extended to our right to education — force everyone to the same time wasting, low achieving, inefficient level, and the population is more easily controlled and brainwashed with ideas and agendas directly contradictory to democracy, excellence, truth, and freedom,” wrote Melba Pearson, a Harvard alumni who was homeschooled for her entire education before college.
“I excelled at Harvard because I was homeschooled, and of that I am proud,” added Pearson after going through the massive amounts of data documenting the overwhelming superiority of home education over government schools. “It is deeply disappointing that Harvard is choosing and promoting an intellectual totalitarian path that calls for a ban of the liberties that helped me and countless others succeed, for it is those liberties and ideals that have made America the great nation it is today.”
The absurdity of Harvard’s anti-homeschooling narrative is already making for comedy gold, too. In an April 20 satire piece headlined “Study: Majority of Homeschoolers Arrive at College Woefully Unprepared for Gender Studies,” The Babylon Bee hilariously mocked the academic bigwigs at Harvard and other far-left overpriced colleges targeting home education and parental rights.
Harvard just got millions of dollars in additional taxpayer funding through the stimulus bailout scheme passed by Congress. It is grotesque that the economically struggling American people are being forced to subsidize dangerous attacks on their most sacred God-given by unhinged ideologues and totalitarians at these indoctrination centers masquerading as educational institutions. It is time to stop the gravy train and force tyrants like Bartholet et al to do something productive for a living.
Alex Newman is a correspondent for The New American, covering economics, education, politics, and more. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @ALEXNEWMAN_JOU or on Facebook