Thursday, September 23, 2004

Homeschoolers are terrorists?

The lovely and gracious Michelle Malkin writes a column about this story from the Muskegon Chronicle, detailing how middle and high school students conducted a mock terror drill in response to a bombing attack perpetrated by Islamic fundamentalists. Well, that's what the drill SHOULD have been about:

The exercise will simulate an attack by a fictitious radical group called Wackos Against Schools and Education who believe everyone should be homeschooled. Under the scenario, a bomb is placed on the bus and is detonated while the bus is traveling on Durham, causing the bus to land on its side and fill with smoke.

Malkin dissects the ridiculousness of this scenario with her usual precision:

This is not a joke. A taxpayer-funded drill is using public school students to enforce anti-homeschooling bigotry under the guise of preparing for terrorism. Terrorism by whom? By Islamic jihadists who hijack planes and incinerate kids headed to Disneyworld. Islamic terrorists who take hundreds of children hostage in Beslan, force them to drink their own urine and shoot babies in the back. Islamic terrorists who groom toddlers as suicide bombers.

Our enemies are Islamic extremist murderers. Except if you happen to attend the Muskegon County, Mich., schools, where the menacing faces of terrorism belong to parents who make untold sacrifices to give their children the best education they know how by schooling them in the loving environment of their own homes.

The mock drill apparently provoked a huge response from homeschoolers nationwide, as the Muskegon Area Intermediate School District tried to backpedal from the wording of the drill scenario:

The Muskegon Area Intermediate School District Tuesday issued a statement saying the areawide organization was not aware of the scenario, but nevertheless apologized.

The statement said the MAISD "shared the disappointment of others when we learned the emergency preparedness drill referenced home-schoolers as the fictitious group responsible for a mock disaster. We apologize."

It said the MAISD and local school districts "were not aware of the scenario, and it was not shared with students or parents who took part in the exercise." "We sincerely regret offending home-school educators. We believe that all parents are educators and do important work at home with their children," the statement said.

I was homeschooled myself and I can verify that this type of bias and stereotyping of the homeschool movement is both common and laughably false. Homeschooled students as a group are just as well socialized (if not better, in my opinion) than their public school counterparts. Academically, homeschooled students are consistently head and shoulders above public school students. This success threatens the dominance of the public education establishment, as embodied chiefly by the National Education Association. This is why the stereotypes persist in the face of all the contradictory evidence: The NEA can't afford for homeschooling to erode its stranglehold on the education of America's youth.

This depiction of homeschoolers as crazed "Wackos Against Schools and Education," while insulting, is not that surprising to me. What concerns me more is that this incident is yet another example of the willful failure to identify the true perpetrators of terrorism: radical Islamofascists. Not all Muslims are terrorists, but it is becoming increasingly apparent that substantially all of the world's terrorist activities are not carried out by Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, Atheists, or Agnostics, but by jihadist Muslims. Homeschoolers do not kill innocent children with bombs. Radical Muslims do.

The establishment is so paralyzed by political correctness, that they have lost all connection with Reality. Unfortunately, for far too many Americans, the insidious disease of political correctness has already hampered their ability to face the truth about the dangers facing our nation. One of Sun Tzu's axioms for waging war is to "Know thy enemy." When we refuse to apply this most basic of principles, we effectively tie one hand behind our back in a struggle against an enemy who will take every advantage, exploit every weakness, and land as many blows below the belt as possible.

When will we untie ourselves?