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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Safety fears encourage homeschooling

School safety fears are pushing parents to consider homeschooling, writes Valerie Richardson in the Washington Times.

After a gunman opened fire on students in Parkland, Florida, the phones started ringing at the Texas Home School Coalition, and they haven’t stopped yet. . . . “When the Parkland shooting happened, our phone calls and emails exploded,” said coalition president Tim Lambert. “In the last couple of months, our numbers have doubled. We’re dealing with probably between 1,200 and 1,400 calls and emails per month, and prior to that it was 600 to 700.”

In addition to worries about violence, parents are concerned about bullying, said Christopher Chin, president of Homeschool Louisiana.

Former Education Secretary Arne Duncan called for parents to boycott school until gun laws change, echoing an idea floated by Education Post‘s Peter Cunningham.

Now he’s modified that, telling CNN that parents could keep their children out of school for “a couple of days” in September, “see whether lawmakers react or not, and either way we go to the voting booth in November.”

If parents believe schools are unsafe, they won’t pull their kids out for a few days. They’ll turn to homeschooling. That may work well, if an adult is able to be home to supervise, but I fear some will rely on ineffective virtual schools.

Children are far safer from gun violence at school than at home, writes Michael Males, senior researcher for the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice in San Francisco.

Over the last year, 63 shootings in or around schools have killed 32 students, including 14 in Parkland and eight in Santa Fe. However, in that same timespan, around 1,200 American children ages five to 18 were murdered by guns, according to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control. More than 500 of these school-age kids died in gun murders in homes and another 350 on streets and in other public areas. Actually, America’s 130,000 elementary and secondary schools, attended by over 50 million students every school day, are by far among the safest places from gun violence. At 2018 rates, the average student would have to go to school every day for 2,000 years before risking a gun being fired there, and 5,000 years before risking a deadly shooting.I suppose it’s a matter of control. Most parents can be confident their children will not be shot in their own home.  
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