The Pagans Are Happy to Socialize Your Children

A few weeks ago I wrote something criticizing public schooling over this incident. It got the ire up of friends and family members, many of whom have spent decades of their lives teaching and working in public schools. They vehemently disagreed with my portrayal of public schooling.

I reflected on what, exactly, bothered me about public schools and other activities or institutions like them, and I came up with a simple thesis:

For many hours each day, you cede your authority and parental care to others while letting other children socialize your children.

In the case of public school, those “others” are bus drivers, teachers, and principals. Many readers probably do not see any problem with this. And at one time I didn’t either. But I do now. First, a little background on my own education.

A Product of Public Schools

I went to middle-class, suburban public schools from first through twelfth grades, then to a public, State university. Full scholarship, National Merit Scholar, got over a 1500 on the SAT (this is back when 1600 was the highest), straight A’s, a model student. I was all about public schools, because I did well in school.

For a long time, I remained an advocate of public schools. Only since becoming a Protestant Christian and then a Catholic did I begin to peel back the layers of the onion and start to realize the depth of the problems in our culture and how public schooling is one factor in them and serves to reinforce them.

The Mis-socialization of Devin Rose

How can I succinctly describe the diverse and disturbing things I learned while at school–not in classes, but at recess, in gym, on the blacktop before school started, on the bus, in the locker room? It’s impossible, so I’ll mention only a few things.

In elementary school classmates told me stories and jokes about homosexual acts. While they (nor I) probably understood all that we were saying, the gist of it was conveyed.

In middle school, I learned that there were the cool kids, the popular ones, and that I wanted to be one of them. I ditched the first group of friends I made at my new school (in fifth grade) and ingratiated myself into the popular group. I played sports and was pretty good at most of them, so that helped me gain entrance. But Heaven forbid if you ran afoul of one of the leaders, or you were singled out for ridicule because of some way you looked or dressed. The popular kids could be brutal, and the harshest among them were the ones most admired.

In sixth grade, one girl in my class was cruelly ostracized everyday, especially as we waited for the first bell to ring. She was mocked, insulted, physically hit, and despised. Why? Because she was not attractive, did not have good hygiene, and had been unpopular since elementary school. The adult monitors who were supposed to watch over us before school were MIA. I still think about this young woman and am ashamed of myself: instead of defending her, I joined in ridiculing her.

In seventh grade one of my good friends told me (and whoever was near in the locker room) about sexual experiences he was having with a high school girl. Yes, he was about thirteen years old and having sexual intercourse.

I was pressured by classmates to become sexually active so I could remain “cool.” By the time of high school, I had been exposed to so much vulgarity and perversion that there wasn’t much left to be learned or scandalized about.

One of my favorite teachers in junior high and high school turned out to be a molester. There were rumors about him, but I always dismissed them because he was such a kind teacher. Only years later did I read a short article in the local paper that said he had lit his house on fire and torched himself to death. This was when a brave student had finally come forward and openly accused him of sexual abuse. He had moved from one school district to another over the years. Sound familiar?

What I learned in school was this: it’s dog-eat-dog, or kid-eat-kid, and you have to learn to survive for yourself. Your parents are not there to protect you. Navigate the dangerous shoals of bullies, popular kid scorn, humiliation, sexuality, all while trying to learn who you were, and who you were supposed to be. All while being exposed to every foulness, perversion, and ugly side of human life.

So today I wasn’t surprised, but I was grieved and disgusted, to read the latest horror story to come to light out of public schools: young men sodomizing their classmates as a hazing practice. Read the whole piece if you can; I only made it half-way through.

bullied boyYour Objection is Invalid

Objection: “But these are isolated incidents!”

The objection goes that these horror stories are isolated. No they’re not. Hundreds of them come to light every month, and those are just the ones we find out about. Ten times their number occur yet never make the news. Horrible things happened in my suburban, middle-class school, and very few saw the light of day.

Now, I was never sodomized, or molested, or interrogated for two hours til I peed my pants for bringing a cap gun on the bus. Again, I am a public school “success” story. But as I described above, even the regular stuff that goes on in public schools is awful.

Objection: “You can’t bunker down and isolate your children! They’ll learn about all this sooner or later.

Then let it be later. And I’m not talking about isolating my children or bunkering down. That’s a strawman. Would you let some guy come up to your five year old and tell them stories about anal sex? Is that appropriate for your five year old? No.

We shelter our children all the time. We choose not to take them to see that movie with intense violence that we as adults can stomach. Of course we shelter them, prudentially, from things they are not ready to understand, or from vile things that they should not be exposed to. There’s a time and a place for them to learn about certain things, and that time is not when they are in second grade, and that place is not from their peers at school.

Objection: “Your children have to learn to deal with other people, even difficult ones”

Sure they do. But they don’t have to be socialized by children whose parents are not rearing them properly. They don’t have to fear being sodomized by “difficult people” at school. And by adulthood, the kind of fish bowl Lord of the Flies stuff that goes on in middle school, junior high, and high school is gone. There’s other challenges that go on, naturally, but as an adult you are equipped to handle them. As an eight year old, you are not.

Objection: “I’m going to let my children shine their light for Jesus!”

If you were there with them through their school day, I may say “okay, go for it.” But you are not. And instead of shining their light for Jesus, a light that takes time to grow strong, much more likely is that the darkness of our pagan culture, as exhibited by their peers in overwhelming numbers, will snuff out the nascent flame that God has lit. I’ve seen it happen, again and again, even in good Catholic families (more on this later).

If you lived in AD 100, would you be sending your children to the pagan Roman schooling system, to worship Caesar and be exposed to so many perverted people? No. You would not do that. No more should you send your children to the schools today, which would give any Roman institution a run for its money in terms of debauchery.

An adult Christian, strong in the Spirit, can face such evil. Children cannot. Even George Lucas understood this when Yoda tells Luke he is not yet strong enough to face Darth Vader and his Emperor. As Mr. Miyagi said to Daniel-san: “First learn stand, then learn fly.” (See? Pop culture references from being being reared in the secular culture–I guess there are some good things about school!)

Objection: “Your children won’t be socialized!”

Oh yes they will. They will be socialized by mature adults who are faithful Christians. They will be taught the right way to live, and why they should live that way, and who God is, and why He is real and true and good and beautiful. They will be socialized by other faithful Christian families, with their children, in contexts where adults are present.

The pagans are happy to socialize your children, and will gladly do so if you send them to public school. In all likelihood, they will be socialized to conform to the prevailing culture, the zeitgeist, and not to Christ. Why? Because the secular society offers a competing vision for life and happiness, one largely at odds to the Christian gospel. Morally relativistic, consumer-driven, materialistic hedonism is appealing in countless ways.

Great Mr. Smarty-Pants. I Already Hate You, so what is your brilliant solution?

You just know I’m going to say “homeschool,” don’t you? Or maybe “Catholic school”?

I would propose, as a first step, any solution that avoids the pitfall described by my thesis: namely, don’t cede your authority and parental care.

If you can avoid ceding your authority and parental care while your children are in public school, then send them to public school. If you can avoid ceding your authority and parental care while your children are in Catholic school, then send them to Catholic school.

If you can do some combination of homeschool, homeschool co-op, cottage school, community school, Catholic school, and public school, all while not ceding your authority and parental care, great! do that.

But note that many Catholic schools are little better, and in some ways worse, than public schools. And in both Catholic and public schools, the predominant model is that you cede your parental care over your children. You are not in charge while they are at school; the school administrators are. You do not know what teachers or other children are doing or saying to your child. You have ceded parental care of your child during the time they are at school.

As a second step, I propose the solution that you offer a better culture to your children. A lively culture based on Christ and His Church, rooted in your family, in the milieu of a community of faith and love. Offer your children a place of beauty and truth, of warmth and welcome, of goodness and loveliness. Offer your children the truth of the Gospel as applied to every part of life.

In practice, homeschooling offers a good way of doing this. And a good way of not ceding your parental care to others. Some combination of other types of schooling with homeschooling can also offer it. I have yet to see how a five-day-per-week, eight-hours-per-day, standard public school option can offer it. Mom and Dad aren’t allowed in the locker room, where the pagan kids are wanting to sodomize your son.

A Word on Catholic Schools

I have friends, faithful Catholics, daily Mass goers, who have children that were homeschooled for years then went to Catholic schools afterwards. And some of their children have left the Faith entirely. They’ve bought into the secular world’s allures. They will one day find those allures to be empty promises, but the sad thing is that they fell for them. They found that vision of life to be more attractive than the Catholic one offered by their parents, who are praying people.

One of their children faced unbearable ridicule at a Catholic high school. Mean behavior to ostracize her, because she rubbed the popular girls the wrong way and was a threat to them in her faithfulness and guilelessness. In other words, the same sort of bullying and meanness found in public schools is also found in Catholic ones. And Catholic schools mostly follow the same model of parents ceding their parental care of their children, only to (at least nominally) Catholic administrators rather than secular ones.

So I caution parents to be careful with any organization: Boy Scouts, their Catholic parish, the children’s sports teams, and so on. Know who the people are who will be watching your children. Ensure you are involved and it is a safe environment. That goes for altar server training, camping, the assistant coach giving your child a ride to the weekend tournament, etc.

Now That You’re Feeling All Judged

The standard disclaimers apply: lots of good people work at public schools. I’m related to some of them. I had many as teachers. Lots of kids come out of public school with their faith still intact. Schools have lots of good programs that can help kids with special needs (which we ourselves have taken advantage of and been grateful for).

This post is not an indictment against everyone who works in public schools or parents who send their children to them. Many families have little choice but to do so. Money and jobs (or lack thereof) or special needs necessitate using the tax-funded public schooling option. But it is intended to provoke you into thinking about whether it is a safe and healthy environment for your child.

Our country is firmly secular, and becoming more so everyday. Public schools are an indispensable apparatus of the state to indoctrinate children into a particular way of seeing the world, of seeing themselves, one that is in many ways antithetical to the Christian Faith.

I want to offer my children a better way, and by God’s grace I hope I am able to. I plan to take the first step and be careful in what type of schooling I choose for my child. If anything other than homeschooling, I want my wife and I to be involved in the day-to-day goings-on at the school. We have one option for such a school in our area, and plan to try it out, along with homeschooling or a co-op type system with other families.

I also plan to take the second step and foster a community of love and truth where my children can learn who they truly are, as beloved children of God, in a safe environment, where they can learn to face the ugly and trying things in life as they are able.

If I have offended you, I apologize in advance. I was implored by a facebook friend to be much more careful in my critique. Instead, I have doubled-down, but in doing so I have been careful in crafting my thesis, which people are free to disagree with.


This article was originally published at Ignitum Today, and is used here with kind permission from the author.

image credit:


Devin is the author of If Protestantism Is True and he blogs at St. Joseph’s Vanguard.

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  • haubrock

    OK, I’ll play.

    I am so sick and tired of the old saw that so many people in the government school system are good, dedicated, and hard-working and just love our kids. The guy with the shaggy haircut and tattoos and the gal with the short skirt, cleavage, and of course, tattoos. Not to mention the blue haired students that can’t make eye contact with adults or string a sentence together. I know many teachers, friends and family, and for the most part they took the job because they are fat and lazy and only have to work 190 days instead of 250 like most of us, get great benefits, and the security of a decent retirement. And they earn just as much as everyone else does. Don’t give me the poor dedicated teacher routine, I have heard it too many times.

    These are not the folks I want my children to be socialized with.

    I realize that this is not very charitable but I am not going to qualify what I am writing!

    And I agree that charter schools and parochial schools are not much better.

    My wife and I are raising adults not children. We teach them that fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Wisdom is not taught in the government school because you cannot have wisdom without God.

    We have homeschooled our kids for over 10 years now. They are not the prodigies that some families produce but they know right from wrong and have great character and work ethic. They are strong Catholics and Jesus Christ is the center of our home and family.

    The question of sending our children to pagan government schools was answer with a big NO years ago by me and my wife but to those who are still contemplating the question I urge you to watch the movie “IndoctriNation” where the film maker addresses the questions of sending our kids to be salt and light to the world. This is a Christian movie but not a specific Catholic movie.

    Another thing that drives us nuts is the folks that homeschool their children through elementary and Jr. High and then put them in Catholic HS. This is bordering on sadism and abuse. You teach them to be kind, independent and love God and then you throw them in with the wolves. What are you thinking!

    For all those that say that I am depriving my children of the high school experience I say this. Just to make my children know what it like to experience the government schools, about once a week I push them into the bathroom and beat them up and take their lunch money.

    Devin, and to all those thinking about homeschooling; it may
    not be easy but the Lord will bless your decision to school your kids in an environment that they trust and feel loved. The grace and love outweighs any hardships.

    My the Lord bless you and keep you

    Make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you

    Protect you from all evil

    And bring you to everlasting life. Amen.

    OK, I’m done.

  • Great article, Devin. We have teenage sons in high school but home school our younger 4 daughters. We didn’t start home schooling until about 4 years ago so we let our boys stay in public school. We are so thrilled we did finally start for our girls. Everything you say above is 100% spot on. Keep the faith.

  • Haubrock,

    Thanks for your comment and kind words. Regarding whether there are many good teachers, I do think that there are. My sister-in-law taught for over a decade, woke up early every morning to get ready to teach, stayed late grading papers, etc., all for not that much money (under $40,000). She probably worked 50 – 60 hours per week for those ten years. And she is a solid Catholic lady.

    That said, she can only do so much. She can’t control what goes on in the locker room, or at recess, or at lunch, or anywhere except her classroom. So even with some good teachers, the atmosphere is a toxic one to virtue and faith (and to reason as well, much of the time).

    God bless!

  • Thanks man! So glad that y’all made that decision with your younger children. You do what you can, when you can, as you can.

  • Eliz33

    Thanks, Devin, for just saying it like it is. Refreshing. I had my daughter in public school until 4th grade, then homeschooled her for 3 years, private Catholic School for 1 year (tiny startup by faithful Catholic parents), then 4 years public High School. Yikes! I was able to impart to my daughter the lurking dangers of secular/godless ideals of the public schools, even from really great teachers, and so she had some shielding from the indoctrination. However, I know it was a risk and always had my radar up. Lots of prayers, discussions with her. She is a great kid but the exposure took a toll. I advise parents – if you can homeschool or mix it up like Devin suggested – do it. Your child is worth it. God bless!!

  • Amen, Eliz. God love you and your daughter!

  • haubrock


    I agree there are good people in the government schools but they
    are the exception and not the rule. They teach what they are told. Or worse, they don’t teach what they are told not to teach and they put their heads down because they don’t want to lose their jobs. They wait it out to get to the end of the day or the end of the semester and are waiting for retirement.

    And not to be a snarky jerk, but many of us work 50, 60 or more hours a week for not much more than $40 grand a year. Again, teachers work 60 days less than your average employee. And they are the ones that freely chose this career path.

    Interestingly enough, with the SCOTUS ruling that was released
    today regarding DOMA and California prop 8 the government schools will continue their onslaught of normalizing sodomy and calling anyone who calls it deviant behavior a bigot and a hater.

    There will be very few children that can survive the indoctrination for 12 years with their virtues, faith and morals intact.

    Gee, reason 2347 for homeschooling our kids.

    In Christ,

  • ML

    At kindergarten, I saw the willingness of my daughter to listen to the teacher over me. After much prayer, we began to home school. We had four children (including twins) at the time. Now 16 years later we have seven children and four have graduated from homeschooling (K-12) with a Catholic faith and a purity that can only be given by God. It was a calling to home school but I thank God every day that my husband and I answered it. Thank you for this well written article.

  • drea916

    As a single woman with no kids, how can I help those families who choose to homeschool? Most of my family are catholic/pagan. Just wondering if I can contribute or help out those who want children reared in the faith the way you described above.

  • melody

    Bravo. Prayers coming your way as you take hits for this.

  • hsmomof4

    Pray! As a homeschooler for the last 14 years I can tell you that what we need most is prayer. Prayers for our children, ourselves and our finances. We are counter-cultural and all that implies. Many of us are single income families, paying out of pocket for all educational expense. Also, be aware of what is happening locally, at the state and federal level with regards to parental rights and protections. Be an activist for all children. Just my two cents worth.

  • Yah and you can also forge relationships with homeschooling families and offer to help them out. Most homeschooling moms would *love* to have some help watching their littlest ones for a few hours each day while they work with the school-aged children, etc. Could be mutually beneficial for you and them! God love you.

  • Wonderful to hear this, ML! God bless you and your children.

  • Katie Kolodzy

    Well said! My husband and I are both government school “successes” but also suffered from the atmosphere therein in different ways. Our five children, the oldest of whom has Autism, always have been homeschooled and, God-willing, will continue to be homeschooled for the duration. Consider that it’s far easier to properly form our young people than try to rehabilitate a weak will or build virtue where vice has already established itself. It’s my hope that they won’t have to follow the path of the prodigal son, because they’ll know & choose Truth from the outset.

    I’d also like to add one “con” to your litany: The strict adherence to age-based peer groups not only creates a sense of unearned pride in upperclassmen & undeserved shame in the younger students, this carries over into so-called “sibling rivalry” at home. It’s natural for children to not always be friends but the rolling of eyes when asked to interact with younger siblings is fueled by this attitude. I see far less (in fact, almost none) of this among Catholic homeschooled families. It’s a wonderful thing to see harmony like that grow in homes where it’s not thwarted by age-based segregation.

  • Rick Borneux

    Sheesh – watch out for those pagans man! J
    Sounds like a lot of fear-mongering and not very much faith from a guy so
    outspoken about being so.

  • Lynn

    I couldn’t agree with you more!! Thank you fro “doubling-down” and I will proudly re-post this. God bless you!!

  • Kbrinkley

    Praise be to God for this! I will pray for you and your family tonight. This article was an answered prayer. Your sentiments are mine exactly. We have found an entirely classical assisted homeschooling program in our area with a stellar curriculum. Praying for my husband to acquiesce!

  • I have faith in God, not faith in secular public schools. And yes, I will watch out for those pagans. I used to be one; I know how bad they are.

  • Jenny

    Devin, thank you so much for writing this. You have hit the nail on the head.
    The Lord has called my husband and I to return to homeschooling our children (after putting them in public school for a period of 3 years). One thought that convinced me is one that I heard in a talk by a Catholic apologist. The thought goes something like this: when we send our children to public school, we are compartmentalizing our faith. Our faith becomes something we pay attention to once a week at Mass and before meals and bedtime. Academics are focused on in school. So, instead of our faith being infused in every aspect of our life (as it should be), it is taken out of the very place that our children spend the most time each day: the school. My number one goal in the education of my children is for them to be faithful Catholics who know and love their faith. Being in a secular school won’t make this impossible, but it will make it infinitely more difficult.
    I like to say that there is a difference between ‘socializing’ and being ‘socialized’. When you are socializing with other people, you are spending time with them, participating in recreational activities together, etc. When a child is socialized, he/she is (hopefully) being taught how to be a God fearing, charitable, productive member of society. Who better to teach children the latter than their own parents and other God fearing individuals?
    Again, thank you for so eloquently sharing your thoughts. I may just have to share this with those family members who bring forth the objections that you have mentioned!

  • Steve

    This article has deeply affirmed our choice to homeschool our son for the last 13 years. We started with a magical little book titled “Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons” (get it on amazon)… pure magic, I tell you. He aces all the state exams and loves school. Instead of horizontal peer-group socialization, we offer “360 socialization”. The kid is rock solid in his Faith. It’s Heaven on Earth I tell you. AMDG – Steve – San Diego

    On the first day of homeschool my neighbor said to me, “What about socialization?”

    On the second day of homeschool my neighborsaid to me, “Isn’t that illegal? What about socialization?”

    On the twelfth day of homeschool my neighbor said to me, “How do I get started?”

  • Love it Steve!

  • Amen Jenny. And you make great points.

  • Rick Borneux

    If you do believe in God then you know He is everywhere – even in public schools. Ask Him to watch over your children – if you have faith then what is there to worry about? You quote Yoda from Star Wars – I have one for you, “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

  • John C


    Excellent post – couldn’t agree with you more. Both of
    my children started in Catholic School, but are now home schooled. We
    took my son out of 2nd grade late last year, and my daughter just
    completed her last year of Catholic school and will be homeschooled next
    year as well.

    I do not wish to paint Catholic school with a
    broad brush, but we found Catholic school to be nothing more than public
    school bearing a cross. Not only was the quality of education
    marginally better than public school at best, but the social aspects you
    refer to were nearly as bad. About the best thing I can say is that at
    least they were able to say “Christmas” without being ostracized.

    As with public schools, boys are generally treated poorly. While there have
    obviously been many positive aspects, one negative result of the
    constant drumbeat of gender equality has been this idea that all
    children are the same, and therefore should act the same. Of course,
    for any parent who has both a girl and a boy can attest, this idea is
    based in fantasy land. And so boys are constantly harassed to tow the
    line and curtail their behavior accordingly, and any who do not are
    immediately cast in the “there may be something wrong with your child,
    so please have him diagnosed & medicated” bucket. I expect this in
    public school where teachers have 35 students per class and do not have
    the time to deal with kids who fall/act outside the “norm” (whatever the
    norm is). I did not expect this in Catholic school, where the classes
    are smaller and one is supposedly paying for something different.

    In addition, even in Catholic school, these kids are socialized (as you called it) in a way that requires them to deal with adult life issues for which they are nowhere
    near properly equipped. For example, the schools are all in on the
    Breast Cancer Awareness propaganda that is going on. Having lost a dear
    friend to this dread disease, I know all too well how heinous this
    disease is. I also know how organizations like Komen, who started
    well-intentioned, have been hijacked by the likes of NARAL and Planned
    Parenthood to become almost as focused on abortion as breast cancer
    awareness. Regardless, in what seemed like an innocent and
    well-intentioned effort, they created a situation where I then had to
    spend a week explaining to my 5-year old what breast cancer was, and why
    his Mommy wasn’t going to go to die anytime soon. Is this healthy?

    And when I broached this topic with the Principal, I was told that A) she
    was a breast cancer survivor and therefore this was a topic close to her
    heart, and B) that there was a student there who had MD, and so kids
    were going to have to eventually deal with death “sooner or later”.

    My unsolicited advice to anyone…if you can home school, do it. You are
    not crazy and you are not some ultra-paranoid nut job. You are providing
    a solid foundation built on love and faith that will equip your
    children to deal with life, something public schools in no way, shape or
    form can hope to achieve.

  • Misty Dean Weber

    Great article, spot-on. We are homeschool dropouts, after 4 years we put them in a wonderful INDEPENDENT Catholic school that we are unbelievably blessed to be close to. There is no high school option there, so hopefully by that time we will have systems in place and can SUCCESSFULLY homeschool. I like how you are not negative or spiteful, but honest and open. We would ‘catch a lot more flies’ as Catholics if we could get the judgmental harsh tone out of our messages. Thank you!

  • Claire

    This is by far the best article I have ever read about school issues. My son is going to attend 1/2 day public kindergarten this year. I love the teacher, I love the principal, the other neighborhood families all love the school, but I still have many concerns. I am using the kindergarten year as my time to seriously discern whether to switch to homeschooling. Thank you for bringing these issues to light (which you did so, in my opinion, in a very charitable and non-judgmental way).

  • Therese

    I teach in a Catholic High School – and I STRONGLY SUPPORT HOMESCHOOLING! I plan on forwarding this article to my daughters for the benefit of my grandchildren.

  • Rick, yes, understood in a right sense, God is everywhere. But it does not then follow that I would place my children just anywhere. God is there in jails, but I don’t want my children exposed to the degradation of prison. God is at sweatshops, but I don’t want my children in sweatshops, etc. Faith doesn’t mean one should abandon prudence, or worse, put God to the test.

  • Traci Judy

    Thank you for this article! It does not only make a defense for homeschooling but as a homeschooling mom bolstered my own lagging resolve. The sacrifice (I don’t hold a full time job) really IS worth it. I needed this!

  • Leeleetee

    As an education major, this just wants to make me definitely teach in the public schooling system. Your article is beautiful, but not all children are as fortunate to ad loving and caring parents as your own. What a beautiful opportunity to show children the true beauty of life in my classroom. Although I may not be able to teach the children about the absolute truth of the Catholic faith, I will be able to pray for each one of them personally everyday and be a model of good morals and love. Thank you for this article.

  • Beth Kerr

    God gave people free will. Unfortunately many, many people do not choose to do good with the free will they are given by God. Because of this we need to watch and protect our children from potential harm from these people. That is one of our jobs as parents.

  • Smoked Turk-E

    Devin, you have my whole support and backing on this one! I have always said and believed exactly your sentiments. They are valid and true. Sadly, so many people can not bear the truth. You don’t say it, but I will. The overwhelming problem is it isn’t the children who become enthralled with the lure of the secular to their own demise, it starts with the parents first. I too have seen many a wonderful Catholic family destroyed because its the parents wanting the freedom to enjoy personal pursuits, have a financially fulfilling career, or the extra income to live a high lifestyle. Sadly, many parents like the idea of “free” education, the freedom of ceding their authority to others, to keep up with the Joneses. Even good Catholic families. In short, the public school option makes it possible for people to live independent lives from their children, and in many cases this means more money and time for selfish pursuits. Very few people want to actually parent today. The minute junior is old enough to back talk, need actual guidance and so on, many parents give up! They claim they’re not equipped to educate their child at home and that it would be better for the child and themselves if they were to go to a structured school setting, where the teachers are more educationally qualified to handle the classes that are more difficult to manage at home. They think they can go back to work and be more productive by contributing to the household income. Little do they understand the price they will pay. Ditto for those unfortunate parents who choose public school sponsored homeschool programs. Free is never free. But most don’t find that out until it is too late. Over my many years of homeschooling, I have shared your exact sentiments with quite a few fellow homeschool parents who despite my warnings, STILL chose to send their kids to bricks and mortar school. I have yet to see one success story. Of 5 families in my co-op who opted to send older children (middle school/high school) to both public and private school, those parents lost their relationships with those children within the first 6 months. The results were always unbelievably disasterous. 2 of those 5 families had to remove their children by the end of the school year because their children instantly resorted to sex, drugs, violence and worse to “fit in” with the crowd. And as you mentioned, Catholic school isn’t better. A third family who chose to send their teen to a Catholic school lost her to suicide by Christmas-tide because she couldn’t endure the cruel bullying inflicted upon her by the “cool” crowd. The cultural war has spread to the very interior of the Church both at the parish and school level. Parents everywhere need to wake up and realize that raising future warriors for God’s Church Militant, is the most important job and achievement in the world. So way to go in telling the truth. The truth makes people angry because the truth scatters darkness. Do not tone anything down. You need to say it and keep saying it for the sake of the children. These are the times Christ referenced to the mourning women at Calvary….the time when we should be weeping for our children.

  • Gail Finke

    Many Catholic schools are just as bad, in the ways you talk about, as public schools. Same goes for alternative and private schools. But you know what? Many homeschooled kids are NO BETTER. My daughter had some pretty bad experiences with homeschooled girls in a club we belonged to — they were judgmental, nasty, “only people who are like me count” type girls. I’ve known a couple of families in homsechool co-ops, and at one of them there was bitter infighting and ostracism of the “not cool’ kids from the “cool kids.” I think you are confusing the natural state of kids — many of whom, whatever their upbringing, need some pretty strong upbraiding from adults and/or some hard knocks from life, or both — with the institutions or lack of such that educate them. Of course, a lot of behavior comes directly from what is tolerated or not tolerated by parents — but also, many kids act differently around other kids than they do around adults in general and their parents in particular. By all means, homeschool and give your kids great guidance. But even when you are the primary educator, the world is a lot bigger than you. Go into it with your eyes open, that’s all. Any time your kids are around other kids, ANY other kids, they will be exposed to things beyond your control.

  • abcmoore

    tremendous article – I could not agree more. Thank you for writing this and challenging all us parents to put our children and their eternal souls first.

  • Richard III

    Well done article, Mr. Rose. Keep up the good work!

  • Rick Borneux

    I agree with you Beth – not sure why you posted that in reply to my
    message. God also watches over our children – I question any ones faith
    that does not believe so by their actions.

  • Rick Borneux

    Bit extreme – your examples aren’t they – are you really comparing sweatshops and jails to public schools? Although I could argue with many examples that God is more so in some jails than many places in the outside world. Thin line between “putting God to the test” and having faith and trust that God will help provide protection and guidance for your children. Still sounds like a lot of fear in your words – but I will regress, I have children too and would do anything to protect them. I will admit I struggle with constantly fearing for their well being too. I’m not arguing against homeschooling by any means – but I would caution that this article and the discussions here are teetering on the ideology of separatism. And that does not seem very Christian to me at all.

  • Rick, good points. I agree that we have to find that right balance between the extremes of fearful sheltering versus reckless providentialism. And I do need to be careful not to give in to fears. Thanks man and God bless you!

  • smartypup

    Government run indoctrination centers are actively brainwashing kids with anti American, socialism, progressive social behaviors, etc. It is best to homeschool kids, they are far exceeding and outperforming public school counterparts.

  • Rick Borneux

    Same to you – God bless!

  • pnyikos

    Are you sure about that “NO BETTER”, Gale? Do take a look at all that went on with the homeschooled kids and compare it with everything you read in the article.

    I went to Catholic in the 1950’s and early 1960’s, when Catholic grade schools and high schools were still run and staffed (except for a few lay Catholic teachers for things like PE and home economics and some sciences). I for one had to put up with a lot of dirty language and dirty-mindedness in the Catholic high school I attended for four years. That school was run and staffed by Sisters of Mercy, except for three lay Catholic teachers including the PE instructor. All except the last were totally oblivious to the dirty language and dirty-mindedness (and I’m not even sure about him–I don’t recall seeing him in our locker room, nor in the vicinity of school during lunch break where all this happened) until late in my junior year.

    That was when I told my father about all the dirtyness, and he told the Principal, who was a very forceful Sister, and she lectured both our class and the seniors about how shocked she was that such things went on in a Catholic high school. Amazingly, the dirtyness ceased–but only in our two grades: the sophomores and freshmen were not lectured, and we upperclassmen had almost no influence on them.

  • Gail Finke

    Individual schools and individual homeschool groups will vary. My point is that even if you homeschool you may find many of the same problems (cliques, nastiness, “dirtyness,” laziness, academic pushing, academic neglect, you name it). Other people are involved, and you cannot control other people. Not everyone homeschools for the same reasons, not everyone values the same things, not everyone has kids with great personalities or morals, not everyone cares about what you want. Just don’t go into it thinking you have thereby avoided all problems to do with school, socialization, kids, and teachers. You still have to be attentive and you may find yourself (yes, I’ve seen this) feeling betrayed by others in a very small group you all joined or formed, others who teach your children things you don’t agree with or whose children expose your children to things that shock you — whether those things have to do with sex, drugs, religion, academic cheating, ostracizing other kids, shoplifting, you name it. Homeschooling is not always great and schools can be great. People are people.

  • Kay

    Amen. I agree with you wholeheartedly. I have lived your story. I homeschool now. I would once have been offended by your article, but God has opened my eyes. Pray that He opens many more.

  • Tiffani

    I really want to home school my son. He just turned 3. I don’t know where to start to find out how to get started. I really don’t want him to go to public schools. Any help or advise would be greatly appreciated!!
    Thank you.

  • Allison Grace

    “Then let it be later” ~ exactly. Our eldest was homeschooled all the way through, attends a local college, and still loves the Faith. He read plenty and we allowed movies when we thought they were appropriate; there is a big difference between watching Ranger Walker deal with drugs and abuse and having it thrown in your young face. We are pleased and vindicated in our choices and continue with all the rest of our kids.

  • Missy

    I homeschool and love reading these stories to boost me up on the days when I feel like throwing in the towel. A neighbor just told my mother that her 5 yr old has learned all about the middle finger & the F word from the 5th graders on the bus. Kids think its funny. Unfortunately, blind parents either don’t believe their children are involved, or think kids will be kids. If an adult taught this to a 5 yr old, I’m sure there’d be more outrage.

  • jcsmitty

    It gets worse by the day. Planned Parenthood Sex education teaches masturbation, oral sex, contraception, abortion, etc.–and don’t tell your parents! I’m so glad I’m not raising children in today’s sick culture.

    How do you keep your kids safe and innocent when they are surrounded everywhere by filth and violence? It’s in the schools, on TV, the movies, the rap music, etc. Parents are rapidly losing their rights to government intrusion.

    I honestly feel discouraged and hopeless. I know God is in control, but worry that we will have the strength to make it to the end.

  • gswf

    No offense taken here, Devin. Great thoughts! Our Faith is under attack on so many levels and we must protect our children!

  • Alycia

    I am a graduate student working on my teaching license. I can tell you first hand, that the secularization and radicalization that is in the public school system is a trickle down from the public (state) colleges and universities that prepare many teachers. I fought my way through the crap, but many student teachers fall all for it, and of course teach this junk when they finally have their own classrooms.

  • JimmyChonga

    Whenever they want a public schooled child to “behave” – they set them apart, remove them from the classroom, make them sit alone at their desk at recess, exile them. In other words, these “socialized” kids require an ANTI-social condition to keep them in order; allow them to get in-touch with themselves. Now, imagine an environment where kids GET all the formative “isolation” they need to develop an INTERIOR LIFE and a modicum of “socialization” to understand that THEY, THEMSELVES are the definition of WHO they REALLY ARE. Welcome HOME! The more citizens of this nation homeschool, the more each becomes the block that lays a new foundation for a the kind of society within which EACH person can achieve their truest and highest calling!

  • Devin

    Frankly, this article seems a little bit over the top. I mean yes, everything the author has said about public schools is true, but what of it? He’s acting as if it ought to be news to us that this world is run by the Devil. Christians have known that for 2,000 years. Catholic parents should realize a priori that their children are going to be exposed to a multitude of evils if they attend public school, simply because it’s an institution of the world, which is a toxic pit of sin and always will be until Christ returns. It’s impossible even to walk down a city street as a Christian without being scandalized. To be a Christian in the world is to be assaulted constantly by evil. You just have to buck up and get on with it. Keep with Christ, and teach your kids to as well. St. Augustine survived a secular education, and so can your kids.