Starting The Path of School Freedom

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Our school district, West Ada School District, is without course and rudderless, too top-heavy, and is far less focused on actual education, and more focused on “safety” and protecting itself from litigation. And passing the buck to a tyrannical health district.

They have placed way too many draconian restrictions on students, parents, teachers, schools, etc, that educating will come with obstructions and hurdles that will likely prove to be completely unnecessary, but will hinder education progress and the mental health of many.

They have no clear plan as to when in-person classes would begin, what the standards of “safety” will be, what precise metric will cause a school to shut down, What precise metric will cause it to reopen, etc. Very likely that one positive case will spiral the district into even more chaos.

A student being kicked-out of in-person classes for 10 days merely because they sneeze? My kids have allergies year-round. My son sneezes as often as he burps. No thanks.

Forcing the use of laptops, and putting parents on the hook for damage, regardless of if they don’t want the laptops…. no thanks.

Having our kids in front of a computer all day, even with in-person school…. no thanks.

Forcing young children to wear masks outside in the heat… no thanks.

Encaging them in plexiglass cells… no thanks.

Not allowing parents to be on campus… no way on God’s green earth!

Not allowing lockers, nor backpacks, yeah, that’ll be really easy for students to manage all their stuff.

Kowtowing to the Central District Health bureaucrats? The school district may as well change its name to Central District Health School District. CDH is clearly calling all the shots.

There is no adequate way for me to itemize everything wrong and chaotic with the  district.

My wife and I struggled with the decision of what to do. We have four children enrolled in the school district, two of which have special needs. These special needs could not be accommodated with all the new restrictions and mandates of the school district (from the health district). The district has no clear plan on how to deal with 504’s or IEP’s.

My son with autism would likely get left behind this semester, and likely for the whole year.

Keeping them enrolled in the school district would mean so many uncertainties, so many surrenders of parental rights, potential harm to our children’s mental health, and who knows how little education they would actually receive. Way too many variables.

What about homeschooling? It wasn’t completely uncharted waters for us, since my wife homeschooled most of our kids for preschool. Plus, my sister, and my sister-in-law, have each been homeschooling for some time, and would be a good personal resource. Homeschooling does however come with its own unique challenges, but it also comes with great freedom.

My wife and I spent some time together, praying individually, praying together, talking, walking together, and opening-up about all our fears, worries, concerns, hesitations, etc. I for one, am a very loyal person. Feelings of disloyalty physically pains me. The local elementary school has been apart of our family for 10 years. The school, the teachers, and the staff have been so good to our family and children. My music teacher from elementary school teaches there now. One of my favorite and most influential teachers from high school is on staff there too. The thought of pulling my daughter from the school made me sick to my stomach. I haven’t slept in weeks. I had always pictured all six of our children going through elementary school there.

But as my wife and I discussed the schooling options before us, it wrapped up and concluded with me asking my wife a question, and her asking me the same: do you trust the school district at all? Without hesitation, we both answered, “No. Not in the slightest.”

That sealed it.

Why hand over our children to a district that is completely rudderless?

I just made the phone calls to the three schools our four children were enrolled. I saved the worst for last: the elementary school. Making that call was the hardest phone call I have ever made. I felt like I was stabbing a life-long friend right in the gut. We still love the school, the staff, and the teachers, it is just the district we don’t trust.

I am so emotionally drained.

Still, my wife and I feel so much lighter now. We have a clear path for our children. Some of the details still need figured out, but we are in control. Challenges will arise, for sure, but they will be manageable. We have a good support system. The social issues that sometimes are stigmatized onto homeschoolers will be taken care of. So called “missed opportunities” will be remedied with other opportunities. My oldest daughter will be able to easily graduate early now.

The future of our children’s education is bright.

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