I’ve been following “America’s Worst Mom” for a while now. Ever since a friend picked her book Free Range Kids as her book club pick, I have shared in Skenazy’s hatred for busy bodies and a deep desire to give my children the kind of freedom that allows them to make as many choices as possible – choices that were a given for the kids just a few generations ago.
So I have to share the latest news here, one which came to my attention because it was shared by none other that Skenazy herself, who has become one of my personal heroes of a sort. I may not agree with everything she says, but her voice of sanity in a nation gone crazy with the idea of never letting a child be left alone, anywhere, any time is a welcome and necessary one.
As a homeschooler that leans toward unschooling, I find this trend disturbing. Busy bodies don’t need more permission to run wild and boss others around.
Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. – C.S.Lewis
It comes close on the heels of a news story where a homeschooling family was sued for letting their children play in their backyard during “school hours” and this one where the mother was doing dishes while her children played in the back yard and this one and… and… and…
And now, “Operation Round Up” (what are we doing, killing weeds?) is hiring busy bodies like the ones mentioned above to report truancy, calling it “community help.”
Here’s a direct quote from the article:
“Sometimes if these citizens don’t call me, I have no way of knowing,” explained Williams, “so if its a nosy neighbor, be a nosy neighbor. Just call me and let me check out the situation.”
Williams also explained how sometimes people can mistake home-schooled children as truant because they usually don’t have a set schedule like students who attend public or private school. Despite this, the school board still encourages people to speak up with their suspicions.
You can’t make this stuff up.